Dementia, Volume 22, Issue 7, Page 1321-1347, October 2023. ObjectivesSocial isolation and loneliness affect the quality of life of people living with dementia, yet few interventions have been developed for this population. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of ‘Connecting Today’, a remote visiting program designed for use with care home residents living with dementia.MethodsThis was a feasibility study to assess whether Connecting Today can be delivered in care homes, and was acceptable to family and friends and people living with dementia. We used a single-group before/after design and included residents ≥ 65 years old with a dementia diagnosis from two care homes in Alberta, Canada. Connecting Today involved up to 60 min per week of facilitated remote visits for 6 weeks. To understand feasibility, we assessed rates and reasons for non-enrollment, withdrawal and missing data. We assessed acceptability with the Observed Emotion Rating Scale (residents) and a Treatment Perception and Preferences Questionnaire (family and friends). Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics.ResultsOf 122 eligible residents, 19.7% (n = 24) enrolled (mean age = 87.9 years, 70.8% females). Three residents withdrew from the study before the first week of calls. Among 21 remaining residents, 62%–90% completed at least 1 call each week. All the calls were completed by videoconference, rather than by phone. Alertness and pleasure were observed for ≥92% of residents during calls. The 24 contacts rated Connecting Today as logical, effective and low risk.ConclusionsFacilitated, remote visits are feasible and highly acceptable to residents and their family and friend contacts. Connecting Today shows promise to address social isolation and loneliness for people living with moderate to severe dementia because it can promote positive engagement in meaningful interactions with their family and friends while they are living in a care home. Future studies will test effectiveness of Connecting Today in a large sample.

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This post is Copyright: Hannah M O’Rourke | June 21, 2023
SAGE Publications: Dementia: Table of Contents