Dawson A, Pemble C & Theakstone D (2016) Sight loss, dementia and meaningful activity: A scoping study. Thomas Pocklington Trust. Thomas Pocklington Trust.
The prevalence of health conditions causing or contributing to sight loss increases with age (Girdler et al, 2008). Yet, despite this, little research has focused on a population that has both sight loss and dementia, tending instead to focus on each condition in isolation.
Meaningful activity’ has been linked to quality of care and the health and wellbeing of older people (NICE 2013) and better outcomes for individuals with dementia (Wenborn et al. 2008). Regular engagement in meaningful activity has been shown to reduce severe behavioural symptoms of dementia, reduce reliance upon medicated solutions (Menne et al. 2012), slow functional decline associated with dementia and help to address the challenges of social isolation and ‘problematic passivity’, characterised by a decrease in gross motor movement accompanied by apathy and a lack of interaction with the environment (Conti et al. 2008). Loss of opportunities for, or access to, meaningful activities has been linked with depressive symptoms and affective distress in people with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (Rovner and Casten 2002). The present scoping study was commissioned to explore issues in relation to meaningful activities for people with both dementia and sight loss living in both community and residential settings. The present scoping study was commissioned to explore issues in relation to meaningful activities for people with both dementia and sight loss living in both community and residential settings.
The primary aims of the project were:
• To determine the extent of the evidence base relating to meaningful activity for people with sight loss and dementia, and to summarise what is known;
• To collect data on the availability and use of guidance, training and other relevant resources in this area; and
• To provide insights to inform the potential development of new or improved guidelines in this area.
The aims of the research have been addressed through a combination of literature review (including online lateral searches), interviews with expert informants, and survey questionnaire on the provision of meaningful activity distributed to relevant stakeholder groups.
sight loss; dementia; meaningful activity; wellbeing; qualitative