Moving to a nursing home speeds up cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease patients, say researchers at Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago.
They followed 432 Alzheimer's patients who lived in the community at the start of the four-year study. During the study, 155 of the participants were placed in nursing homes.
All participants showed a gradual cognitive decline, but many who were placed in a nursing home showed a more rapid decline. Conversely, people who had day care for three-to-four days a week at the beginning of the study did not show the same levels of decline.
"The findings suggest that the transition from the community to a nursing home is particularly difficult for people with Alzheimer's disease and that those planning for their care should consider the possibility that experience in adult day care programs may help prepare affected persons for institutional living," study author Robert S. Wilson, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Centre, said in a statement.
The study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. – (HealthDayNews)