Mainstream opinion is nowadays in favour of providing personally-tailored meaningful activity for people with dementia in long-term care, as a means of improving mental wellbeing and quality of life, and / or reducing challenging behaviour without resort to antipsychotics. The authors of a recent Cochrane review were unable to draw firm conclusions on this subject concerning the published evidence, or to offer further recommendations for improving practice based on the studies considered. A poverty of “theory” was revealed:
“There was no evidence that interventions were more likely to be effective if based on one specific theoretical model rather than another”.
More research is required, for example on practical approaches to the selection of appropriate meaningful activities for people with different stages / types of dementia.
Möhler, R. Renom, A. [and] Renom, H. [et al] (2018). Personally tailored activities for improving psychosocial outcomes for people with dementia in long-term care. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. February 13th 2018; 2: CD009812.
There is also an Executive Summary.
An Alternative Viewpoint, Based on a Different Study?
A recent NIHR Signal offers slightly more upbeat assessment of the possibilities, based on a later study:
Wilcock, G. (2018). Person-centred care improves quality of life for care home residents with dementia. London: National Institute for Health Research Signal, March 20th 2018.
This relates to:
Ballard, C. Corbett, A. [and] Orrell, M. [et al] (2018). 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. PLoS Medicine. February 6th 2018; 15(2): e1002500.
Possibly of interest, depending on suitability and individual inclinations:
Johnson, R. (2019). Woodworking for the elderly. [Online]: Sawinery, 2019.