Alzheimers dementia is one of the most commost mental health disorders associated with aging. In its earlier stages sufferers live independently but gradually rely increasingly on loved ones or formal carers for support as the illness progresses. Its treatment involves both medical and social care. This study assesses the impact of outpatients ’ care and cholinesterase inhibitors in patients being treated for Alzheimers dementia. The needs and quality of life of patients attending an outpatients dementia care service were assessed using the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly (CANE) and Quality of Life in Alzheimers Disease: Patient and Caregiver report. Other tools used were the Problems Checklist and Carer Strain, the Minimental State Examination (MMSE) and a proforma to obtain sociodemographic details. All patients who had informal care were assessed using the questionnaires. 104 patients were seen of whom 34 were new and 70 were follow-up patients. 43 patients lived alone while the rest lived with their spouses or other relatives such as children. There was reduction in the number of CANE unmet needs and increased combined Quality of Life in Alzheimers Dementia scores in the first three months amongst the newly referred patients. The findings suggest that outpatients dementia care and prescribing of cholinesterase inhibitors helped to meet the needs of patients and improve patients quality of life in first three months.
Keywords: Alzheimer's dementia, aging, needs assessment, carer strain (distress)
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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