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Farm-based day care in Norway – a complementary service for people with dementia

Authors Ibsen TL, Eriksen S, Patil GG

Received 3 March 2018

Accepted for publication 14 April 2018

Published 27 July 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 349—358

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S167135

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Tanja Louise Ibsen,1 Siren Eriksen,1 Grete Grindal Patil2

1Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway; 2Department of Public Health Science, Faculty of Landscape and Society, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway

Background: Day care services provide meaningful activities and coping experiences in a safe environment for people with dementia, as well as improve quality of life. Such services vary in types and settings. Farm-based day care (FDC) services are described as services that have been adapted from the farm setting, using farm resources to promote health. There is limited knowledge on the service offered in both FDC and regular day care services for people with dementia. The present study aims to investigate FDC in Norway and describe the services and the participants’ care environment.
Materials and methods: We mapped the existing farms offering day care in Norway by the spring 2017 (N=33) and collected information through two cross-sectional surveys (N=32) answered by the service providers at the farms.
Results: The farms included in this survey provided day care services to 227 people with dementia, located in most regions of Norway. The services varied in terms of group size and half of the services had young people with dementia (≤65 years) and people with dementia at an early stage as their primary target group. About half of the staff had health care education (47.5%), and there were staff with agricultural competence available in most FDCs. All farms reported that the participants spent time outdoors every day, and all services, except two, had animals. The providers highlighted the opportunity to choose activities that were individually tailored for each participant, as the diversity of resources in the farm made it possible to organize different activities.
Conclusion: FDC services have similarities in organization, daily structure, and number of health education personnel to other day care services, but differ in type of care environment with a wide range of activities and available resources like farm buildings, gardens, animals, and outdoor areas.

Keywords: green care, care farms, farm context, day care service, person-centered care

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