The Impact of Relocation on Adults with Mild to Moderate Dementia

May 13th, 2014


The Impact of Relocation on Adults with Mild to Moderate Dementia

In 2008, Western Health implemented a new model of care for individuals with mild to moderate dementia known as the Protective Community Residences (PCRs). The PCRs were designed to meet the environmental, functional and psychosocial needs of individuals with mild to moderate dementia. Being the first health authority in the province to introduce this care model provided an opportunity to explore the impact of relocation and implications within the context of the healthcare system. This quantitative study examined changes in functioning in individuals who were relocated from private homes or institutionally based care to the PCRs.


Standardized instruments were used to measure aspects of cognitive, behavioural, and functional abilities prior to relocation and within 6-8 weeks following relocation. Improvements were noted in functional abilities and in specific behaviours. Slight deterioration was observed in cognitive functioning. The findings suggested that a model of care that promotes purposeful activities/social interactions may have a positive impact on overall function of individuals with mild to moderate dementia. These findings will be of interest to policy makers and administrators involved in future program planning andcare delivery models for individual with dementia.

The population of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is aging at a rate faster than the rest of Canada. In 2011, 16 % of the province was aged 65 or older (Statistics Canada, 2011) and this percentage is projected to increase to 20% by 2016 (Government of NL, 2008). It is well recognized that age is an irreversible risk factor for dementia. As the population ages, the prevalence of the population with dementia is expected to rise. It is estimated that 500,000 Canadians currently suffer from dementia; projections suggest that within 20 years the prevalence of dementia will double, affecting 1.1 million Canadians (Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2010). The purpose of this paper  was therefor to introduce an innovative housing option for people living with dementia, and to present the results of a relocation study that focuses on changes in cognition, function, severity of dementia and behaviours within 6-8 weeks following the relocation. Implications for decision-makers, clinicians and future research were also reviewed.


Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

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