Meaningful activities for improving the wellbeing of people with dementia: Beyond mere pleasure to meeting fundamental psychological needs.

Nyman, S.R. and Szymczynska, P., 2016. Meaningful activities for improving the wellbeing of people with dementia: Beyond mere pleasure to meeting fundamental psychological needs. Perspectives in Public Health, 136 (2), pp. 99-107.

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DOI: 10.1177/1757913915626193

Abstract

Aims: Dementia is being increasingly recognised as a major public health issue for our ageing populations. A critical aspect of supporting people with dementia is facilitating their participation in meaningful activities. However, research to date has not drawn on theories of ageing from developmental psychology that would help undergird the importance of such meaningful activity. For the first time, we connect existing activity provision for people with dementia with developmental psychology theories of ageing. Method: We reviewed the literature in two stages: First, we narratively searched the literature to demonstrate the relevance of psychological theories of ageing for provision of meaningful activities for people with dementia, and in particular focused on the stage-based theories of adult development (Carl Jung and Erik Erikson), gerotranscendence (Tornstam), selective optimisation with compensation (Baltes and Baltes), and optimisation in primary and secondary control (Heckhausen and Schulz). Second, we systematically searched PubMed and PsycINFO for studies with people with dementia that made use of the aforementioned theories. Results: The narrative review highlights that activity provision for people with dementia goes beyond mere pleasure to meeting fundamental psychological needs. More specifically, that: life review therapy and life story work addresses the need for life review; spiritual / religious activities addresses the need for death preparation; intergenerational activities addresses the need for intergenerational relationships; re-acquaintance with previously-conducted leisure activities addresses the need for a sense of control and to achieve life goals; and pursuit of new leisure activities addresses the need to be creative. The systematic searches identified two studies that demonstrated the utility of applying Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development to dementia care. Conclusions: We argue for the importance of activity provision for people with dementia to help promote wellbeing amongst an increasing proportion of older people.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1757-9147
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adaptation, Psychological ; Dementia ; Leisure Activities ; Psychological Theory ; Quality of Life
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:23019
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:22 Dec 2015 09:50
Last Modified:15 Mar 2016 14:58

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