Quality of life and dementia: The voice of the person with dementia

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Although we know that quality of life (QOL) can greatly influence a person's well-being, the measurement of QOL in individuals with dementia has, unfortunately, been largely ignored as a result of conceptual, logistical and measurement difficulties inherent in this population. To enable the voice of the person with dementia to be heard, a triangulated approach was adopted using survey data that aimed to assess the quality of life-Alzheimer's disease (QOL-AD) in Australian residential aged care and unstructured interviews with a small sample of participants (n = 33). This article presents the survey results and demonstrates there were significant differences in QOL-AD scores between length of stay in the care setting groups, interpersonal relationship quality and self-esteem. Groups with greater physical impairment had lower QOL scores. It is concluded that the participants in this study were able to provide meaningful commentary on their QOL and that the findings may be useful when planning education of care staff and may contribute to theoretical models of dementia care.

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