Is There Anything Special About Intergenerational Approaches to Older People with Dementia? A Review
Personal Social Services Research Unit, LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, UK
- Corresponding Author:
- A-La Park
Personal Social Services Research Unit
LSE Health and Social Care
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street, London, UK, WC2A 2AE
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: August 30, 2014; Accepted date: November 30, 2014; Published date: December 08, 2014
Citation: Park AL (2014) Is There Anything Special About Intergenerational Approaches to Older People with Dementia? A Review. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 4:172. doi:10.4172/2161-0460.1000172
Copyright: © 2014 Park AL. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: The recent G8 Dementia summit declaration is evidence of the importance that governments around the world are now attaching to the importance of tackling dementia. It is timely and increasingly important to find effective ways of delaying the progression of dementia. With rising life expectancy, caring for older adults with dementia leads to escalating costs related to long-term care and informal care. Although there is a growing literature on psychosocial interventions for people with dementia, there are few studies taking an intergenerational perspective. This study aims to review the evidence on the impacts of intergenerational activities on older adults with dementia. Methods: A literature review was performed to explore the effects of intergenerational activities on older people with dementia. The search included English-language publications that reported original data from January 1986 to mid-2014. Studies were published in a peer-reviewed journal with no country restrictions. Supplementary searches were conducted and a narrative synthesis was performed. Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, it was found that intergenerational approaches had positive impacts on quality of life, stress, more constructive engagement styles exhibited, reduced agitation, improved cognitive functioning, delayed recall and better social interaction. However, mixed results were shown for effects on depression, self-worth and purpose of life in older people with mild to moderate dementia. Conclusion: This review suggests that there is potential for the use of interactive programmes across generations as a cost-effective strategy for slowing down the process of cognitive decline by enhancing social capital and promoting well-being for older adults with dementia. More studies combining qualitative and quantitative analyses based on randomised controlled trials are needed for older adults with advanced stage of dementia in various country contexts.