Introduction: Participating in meaningful activities is important for any individual's wellbeing. Activity scheduling enables older adults with dementia and their spouse caregivers to structure their activities in accordance with the things they value.Methods: In examining the effectiveness of activity scheduling, this report details the results of a 12-week single-blinded randomized control trial using a parallel group experimental design.Results: From August 2018 to August 2019, 100 community-dwelling older adults with mild to moderate dementia and their spouses completed this study. The experimental group (n = 50) practicing activity scheduling showed improvements than in control group (n = 50), with respect to alleviating the impact of the caregiving role, reducing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, decreasing the caring demand and generally improving the quality of life, with Cohen's d = .61, .45, .50 and 43 respectively. Moreover, there were significant differences between the groups indicated that over time, the experimental group showed an improvement with regard to alleviating the role of caring, with Cohen's d = .64, and alleviating disruptive and depressive behavior, with an effect size of .45 and .50 respectively. The number of caring hours needed dropped from 6.98 to 5.98 h in the experimental group.Discussion & conclusion There were more activities that older adults with dementia and their spouse caregivers would like to do, and could participate in, than we had expected. Activity scheduling can facilitate their participation. This is a very important topic as non-pharmacological interventions are needed for this even-growing segment of the population.
A randomized control trial of activity scheduling for caring for older adults with dementia and its impact on their spouse care-givers
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