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Persons with early-stage dementia reflect on being outdoors: a repeated interview study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. (Vårdvetenskap)
2013 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 17, no 7, 793-800 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe how persons with early-stage dementia reflect on being outdoors. Method: Data were collected through repeated interviews with a purposive sample of 11 persons with early-stage dementia in Sweden during the period 2009-2010 and were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Informants described being outdoors as a confirmation of the self. Confirmation of their ability to maintain desired activities, despite the dementia disease, was important to the informants. However, some confirmations were not positive; the realisation that one could no longer perform certain activities could be devastating. Two sub-themes emerged: shifting between still being part of it all' and a sense of grief and loss and striving to keep on despite perceived barriers. Past, but no longer possible, outdoor activities were greatly missed and the informants longed to be able to perform these activities once again. To resolve possible difficulties associated with being outdoors, the informants used various adaptation strategies. Despite the described barriers, being outdoors was of great value to them. Conclusion: Independent outdoor activities seem to contribute to the well-being and feelings of self-worth among persons with early-stage dementia who want to be and are able to be outdoors. If a person with dementia, despite cognitive limitations, wants and is able to engage in outdoor activities, it is important for relatives and health-care staff to encourage and facilitate this, for example, by discussing adaptation strategies to deal with orientation problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 17, no 7, 793-800 p.
Keyword [en]
activities, early-stage dementia, nursing, outdoors, social construction theory
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207495DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2013.801065ISI: 000323476600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-207495DiVA: diva2:648922
Available from: 2013-09-17 Created: 2013-09-16 Last updated: 2015-02-16

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