People with dementia attending farm-based day care in Norway


Farm-based day care for people with dementia is supposed to improve the participants

quality of life by using activities and resources of the farm environment to

promote mental and physical health. In this paper, we describe the characteristics

of those attending farm-based day care services in Norway and explore the association

between individual and farm characteristics and the quality of life. A sample of

94 people with dementia who attended farm-based day care was recruited from 25

farms between January 2017 and January 2018. The data collection was performed

using standardized instruments. Information about the farms was retrieved from a

former study. The association between the participants’ quality of life and their individual

and/or farm characteristics was examined with a linear multilevel regression

model. The participants had a mean age of 76 years, 62% were men, and 68% had additional

education after primary school. Most of them had mild (54.3%) or questionable

dementia (18.3%). A few participants used antipsychotics (3.7%), tranquilizers

(9.9%) and painkillers (13.6%), while a higher number used antidepressants (30.9%).

Quality of life was associated with the experience of having social support (p = .023),

a low score on depressive symptoms (p < .001), and spending time outdoors at the

farm (p < .001). The variation between the farm-based day care services in the participants’

reported quality of life was related to time spent outdoors at the farm. In

light of the present study, it seems as farm-based day care is addressing people with

dementia in an early stage, dominated by men, with quite good physical and medical

condition. The strong association between quality of life and spending time outdoors

underscores that facilitation for outdoor activity should be prioritized in all types of

dementia care.