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Training Staff for Social Interaction May Improve Quality of Life for People With Dementia

The average person with dementia living in a care home receives only two minutes of social interaction each day. A recent study suggests that an e-learning program that trains home care staff to engage in meaningful social interaction with clients who have dementia may significantly improve client wellbeing.


Participants in the study included 280 residents and care staff in 24 care homes. The caregivers took part in an e-learning program based on The Wellbeing and Health for people with Dementia (WHELD) program, with or without Skype supervision. It involves measures such as talking to residents about their interests and involving them in decisions about their care.


The researchers found that both supervised and unsupervised training was associated with improvements in resident wellbeing and staff attitudes to person-centered care. Caregivers increased social interaction from 2 minutes per day to 10 minutes per day. The Skype-supported training led to improved resident wellbeing four months after the trial period completed.


Researchers from the University of Exeter conducted the study. It was published in the February 2018 issue of PLoS Medicine.

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