Health-related quality of life (HRQL) for nursing home residents is important, however, the concept of quality of life is broad, encompasses many domains and is difficult to assess in people with dementia. Basic activities of daily living (ADL) are measured routinely in nursing homes using the Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 (RAI-MDS) and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) instrument.
A large proportion of persons with dementia will also experience disordered sleep. Disordered sleep in dementia is a common reason for institutionalization and affects cognition, fall risk, agitation, self-care ability, and overall health and quality of life.
In some long-term care homes, no residents over age 65 are being prescribed antipsychotic medications, while in others, up to two-thirds of the residents are being prescribed the drugs. The report notes that some of the variation across the province could be due to the fact that some homes specialize in treating people with severe mental illness or advanced dementia. But it is unlikely this factor alone explains the breadth of these differences.
Physicians in five countries agree: Those who diagnose and treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease need more – and better – tools to handle the job. Nearly half of those who took part in an international survey said that Alzheimer’s is often misdiagnosed, eating away at the window when early treatment could temporarily slow disease progression.