Housing people with Alzheimer disease as a result of Down syndrome, a quality of life comparison between group homes and special care units in long-term care facilities

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Chaput, Jennifer L.
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The purpose of this study is to determine which form of housing, group homes or special care units (SCUs), provides a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer Disease (AD) as a result of Down syndrome. The study also provides Winnserv Inc. (a non-profit housing organization that houses people with mental disabilities) with important information. With the study results, Winnserv Inc. will be able to determine if their group homes are suitable to maintain individuals with Down syndrome and AD and if, in terms of caregiving, their group homes are more cost-effective than SCUs. Twenty caregivers from both group homes and SCUs were selected to participate in this study. Ten long term care (LTC) facilities with SCUs for people with AD were selected in the Winnipeg area and ten group homes for people with Down syndrome and AD were chosen in Winnipeg and across Canada. The results indicate that the group homes seem to provide the best quality of life for people with AD as a result of Down syndrome because they provide a home-like environment and they operate according to a therapeutic philosophy of care. In addition, costs for caregiving seem to be more economical in group homes than in SCUs because group homes utilize lower staff wages. The study results suggest that group homes provide a better quality of life for people with Down syndrome who have been diagnosed with AD. Based on the results, it is recommended that Winnserv Inc. continue to house people with Down syndrome and AD.