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Dementia care 'benefits' from smaller groups

Dementia care is more effective when administered in small group care homes, a new study has found.

Research conducted from Maastricht University in the Netherlands focused on two groups that had been established for around 30 months. Scientists carried out 32 hours of observation and interviewed patients, family members and care staff.

The results demonstrated that this care setup promoted stability and clarity and allowed patients to maintain their identities and feel more at home.

Ezra van Zadelhoff, who worked on the study, said this indicates that the most effective method of providing individually-orientated care for those with dementia is "to enable people to be themselves and live in an environment where they and their families can get involved in normal daily activities".

She said until now traditional care for sufferers has mostly been carried out in large nursing homes.

The World Alzheimer's Report 2011 estimated dementia affects up to 36 million people worldwide.

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Dementia care 'benefits' from smaller groups
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