The aging of the world population is increasing the prevalence of people suffering from some form of a progressive degenerative disease, in most cases Alzheimer’s disease. With no effective treatment that would cure or stop the progression of these diseases many people survive into an advanced stage of dementia. Optimal care for people with advanced dementia must not only include safe environment, adequate nutrition and personal hygiene, but should also promote high quality of life during the disease process. Quality of life is a subjective quality and is difficult to determine in people who cannot meaningfully communicate their feelings.
However, a study investigating perceptions of quality of life among nursing home residents with different degrees of cognitive impairment, found that there were four key themes identified by the respondents: social contact, attachment, pleasurable activities, and affectPeople with advanced dementia (MiniMental State Examination (MMSE) score 1-9) reported missing their families and not knowing anybody in the home, have not seen the home as their “home”, and some of them said that they just visit or work there.