TRAPPES-LOMAX Tessa, HAWTON Annie
Effective reablement is dependent on service users' co-operation and motivation. It therefore needs to be highly responsive to their needs and views. This study offers specific user views about their experiences in different settings and at different stages of reablement, together with their ideas for how it might work better. The study describes the experiences of 42 older people in rehabilitation services in community hospitals and local authority short-term residential units followed by “usual care” services at home. It is based on semi-structured face-to-face interviews in 2002/3, from East and Mid Devon, England. Findings revealed four main themes: the complexity of rehabilitative need; the influence of the setting; the role of the staff; and the availability of reablement support back at home. The authors concluded that the findings demonstrate changing rehabilitative needs along the care pathway, with implications for commissioners and providers of reablement services.
In this article, the author reviews findings in dementia care on interventions and on quality of life with the aim of identifying factors associated with quality of life which can form the basis for interventions enhancing quality of life for people with dementia. The article looks at evaluation of well-being and quality of life in people with dementia, including the importance of "hearing the voice of people with dementia", and the key factors predicting quality of life in people with dementia. Drawing on this, it suggests potential strategies and interventions for improving quality of life in people with dementia: improve mood, maintain health, hopeful staff attitudes, reduce use of anti-psychotic medication, enhance relationship with carer, encourage family involvement, cognitive stimulation and cognitive rehabilitation, and creative activities and approaches.
HEMINGWAY Ann, JACK Eleanor
A UK charity established a network of 70 friendship clubs in the south of England, facilitated by volunteers, with the aim of promoting well-being for older people. The charity provides venues and transport for participants to meet and enjoy activities locally every week for 2 hours. This article reports on a 3 year research project exploring the impacts of the intervention, using qualitative research methods and including participant observation and individual and focus group interviews. The study was based on 10 of the friendship clubs and collected information from 82 members and 18 volunteers. The article describes the intervention and the study methodology. It presents the results, with illustrative quotations from participants, covering views on the risk of becoming isolated, feeling isolated, and friendship and support. It identifies additional factors that can predispose an individual to become socially isolated, including environment and safety fears, fear of falling, and loss of confidence, and notes that even when living with their families older people can still feel socially isolated. It reports that club members and volunteers viewed themselves as assets for each other, offering support, advice and friendship, and that, overall, the perceived benefits for attendees of attending the friendship clubs fell into 3 key areas: improved well-being, social relations, and mental and physical health.