People with dementia attending farm-based day care in Norway – Individual and farm characteristics associated with participants’ quality of life
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHealth and Social Care in the community. 2019, 1-11. 10.1111/hsc.12937
Farm-based day care for people with dementia is supposed to improve the partici-pants quality of life by using activities and resources of the farm environment to promote mental and physical health. In this paper, we describe the characteristics of those attending farm-based day care services in Norway and explore the associa-tion between individual and farm characteristics and the quality of life. A sample of 94 people with dementia who attended farm-based day care was recruited from 25 farms between January 2017 and January 2018. The data collection was performed using standardized instruments. Information about the farms was retrieved from a former study. The association between the participants’ quality of life and their indi-vidual and/or farm characteristics was examined with a linear multilevel regression model. The participants had a mean age of 76 years, 62% were men, and 68% had ad-ditional education after primary school. Most of them had mild (54.3%) or question-able dementia (18.3%). A few participants used antipsychotics (3.7%), tranquilizers (9.9%) and painkillers (13.6%), while a higher number used antidepressants (30.9%). Quality of life was associated with the experience of having social support (p = .023), a low score on depressive symptoms (p < .001), and spending time outdoors at the farm (p < .001). The variation between the farm-based day care services in the par-ticipants’ reported quality of life was related to time spent outdoors at the farm. In light of the present study, it seems as farm-based day care is addressing people with dementia in an early stage, dominated by men, with quite good physical and medical condition. The strong association between quality of life and spending time outdoors underscores that facilitation for outdoor activity should be prioritized in all types of dementia care.