Jan 3, 2015

Dementia Accompanied By Depression More Common In Community Care

By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dementia Accompanied By Depression More Common In Community Care

Researchers studied 414 people with severe dementia along with their carers in England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

The study gathered information on quality of life, activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding and dressing and presence of depressive symptoms using standardized measures.


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In the groups studied, 37% of the 217 people living in the community showed signs of depression compared to 23% of the 197 in care homes. This is one of the few studies comparing similar groups of people living at home and in nursing homes.

Professor David Challis, from the University's Personal Social Services Research Unit, led the study. and wrote:
"Despite the differences between the countries involved, the pattern of depression observed in the community-dwelling group was consistent."
"In addition this difference may be partly explained by the responses received from carers. Often, relatives of people with dementia are more distressed by symptoms of depression than professional care workers, so this may have influenced their ratings on the depression measure.
"What we need is more support for carers to help them cope with their relatives' depressive symptoms and to recognize the problem before it gets to severe levels."
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Carole Larkin's comment.

Are these valid findings? 

Sometimes it’s how the questions are asked.

Did the researchers take into account possible boredom or PBA (Pseudobulbar Affect) confounding findings?

No doubt depression coexists; but are the percentages given correct?

Carole Larkin
Carole Larkin MA, CMC, CAEd, DCP, QDCS, EICS is an expert in Alzheimer’s and related Dementia care. She is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementia issues. Carole can consults with families via telephone nationwide on problems related to dementia. Her company, ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.

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