One Hour of Social Interaction Improved Quality of Life for People with Dementia in UK Care Homes

One Hour of Social Interaction Improved Quality of Life for People with Dementia in UK Care Homes
Having one hour a week of social interaction, combined with a just a small amount of personalized care, can improve the quality of life of people with dementia who live in care homes, according to a recent study in the United Kingdom. These findings came from the Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) trial, the largest non-pharmacological randomized control trial in people with dementia living in care homes to date. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter, King's College London and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and included the collaboration of the Alzheimer's Society. Findings from the trial were published in the journal PLOS Medicine, under the title “Impact of person-centred care training and person-centred activities on quality of life, agitation, and antipsychotic use in people with dementia living in nursing homes: A cluster-randomised controlled trial.” Previous research had shown that in many care homes residents have as little as two minutes of social interaction per day. In addition, dementia patients often experience agitation and other symptoms that are difficult to treat and distressing for the individual, and may greatly impact quality of life. "While many care homes are excellent, standards still vary hugely. We have previously found that the average amount of social interaction for
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