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Factors Influencing Participation in Activities in Dementia Care Settings

Kuhn, Daniel MSW; Fulton, Bradley R. MA; Edelman, Perry PhD

Feature Topic: Making the most of the day: Quality of life and Meaningful Activity

The influence of cognitive impairment, functional impairment, and care setting on participation in activities has not been examined. To better understand these relationships, data were collected for 166 persons with dementia in 3 types of care settings. Residents of nursing homes and those with highest levels of cognitive and functional impairment had the lowest level of participation in staff-led activities and the greatest frequency of sleeping. In contrast, persons with mild dementia and those attending adult day centers had the highest level of participation in staff-led activities and the lowest frequency of sleeping. Implications for practice are discussed.

Director of Education at Mather Institute on Aging, a division of Mather LifeWays in Evanston, Illinois. (Kuhn)

Senior Research Associate at Mather Institute on Aging, a division of Mather LifeWays in Evanston, Illinois, and a doctoral candidate at Loyola University of Chicago. (Fulton)

Director of Dementia Research at Mather Institute on Aging, a division of Mather LifeWays in Evanston, Illinois. (Edelman)

Address correspondence to: Daniel Kuhn, MSW, Mather Institute on Aging, Mather LifeWays, 1603 Orrington Ave, Suite 1800, Evanston, IL 60201. E-mail: dkuhn@matherlifeways.com.

We are grateful for the cooperation of the staff, families, residents, and clients of The Wealshire, Lincolnshire, Ill; Lutheran Home and Services, Arlington Heights, Ill; Council for Jewish Elderly Adult Day Services, Evanston, Ill; The Hannah Friend Center of the Council for Jewish Elderly, Deerfield, Ill; Harbor House at New Perspectives, Wheeling, Ill; Alzheimer's Family Care Center, Chicago, Ill; and Brighton Gardens, Orland Park, Ill. We also thank Roseanne Kasayka of Heather Hill Hospital and Healthcare Partnership, Chardon, Ohio, Carolyn Lechner of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, Diana Jean Kulczyk, and Cathleen Stenger for their assistance with data collection.

©2004Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.