Developing dementia: The existensial experience of the quality of life With young-onset dementia- A longitudinal case study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThorsen K, Dourado MCN, Johannessen A. Developing dementia: The existensial experience of the quality of life With young-onset dementia- A longitudinal case study. Dementia. 2018 https://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F1471301218789990
Background: Cognition and the ability to take care of daily activities and oneself gradually declines among people with dementia. Studies are scarce, especially regarding how people with young-onset dementia (YOD) (<65 years) experience the quality of their lives with the progression of dementia. People with dementia living alone face special challenges. Aim: To examine the experience of the quality of life with YOD as a single person. Method: The study presents a longitudinal case study with in-depth interviews exploring the experiences of a person with YOD. Individual interviews were conducted seven times over a period of three years from 2014 to 2017. Findings: We examined if and how seven themes concerning the quality of life and well-being were fruitful for understanding the experiences of dementia in the everyday life of a single individual. The study explored needs and challenges during the development of dementia, and how the person reacted over time, set in context. The themes significant for well-being are: identity, connectedness, security, autonomy, meaning, growth and joy. Conclusion: The study shows how treatment, support, and services must be individualized when dementia develops in order to support identity, resources and mastering capacity, and promote well-being.