FRIDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People with dementia appear to be better off in small group homes rather than large nursing homes because they offer a domestic environment where patients can live as individuals, new research suggests.
And small group homes offer the added benefit of allowing the relatives of dementia patients to get involved, the researchers pointed out in the study published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
"It's estimated that 80 million people worldwide will suffer from dementia by 2040," Ezra van Zadelhoff, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said in a journal news release. "Up until now, traditional care for people with dementia has mostly been provided in large nursing homes. However, a number of countries are increasingly providing care in small group homes, which offer a more domestic environment focusing on normal daily life."
Small group homes have already been established in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Japan. In conducting the study, researchers focused on two such homes with 10 residents each, located in an urban area in the Netherlands. The smaller living units were situated on the campus of a traditional large-scale nursing home.
Inside the homes were a communal living room and kitchen. Eight residents have a private bedroom with their own furniture. The remaining 12 residents share bedrooms decorated as they would be in a traditional home. All of the residents, however, require around-the-clock care, which is provided by a full-time nursing staff experienced in geriatric care.
This nursing staff helps the residents perform general household duties and daily activities, such as cleaning, cooking, walking and exercising.
After observing the residents for 32 hours over the course of eight days and interviewing five of the residents as well as some family members and staff, the researchers found that the residents f
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