Maintaining physical safety and mental stimulation, receiving medical care related to dementia, avoiding hospitalization and remaining physically active were among the goals set by those with dementia in a recent study.

Participants in the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care program focused on “goal attainment scaling,” researchers said.

In the study, dementia care managers worked with more than 100 individuals with dementia to set care goals.

University of Oklahoma’s Lee A. Jennings, M.D., and four researchers at UCLA used a scale to measure how well participants achieved their goals six and 12 months after setting them, and conducted follow-up interviews.

Of particular note for long-term care givers is that 84% of the goals set were non-medical. These included improving the quality of life for the patient with dementia, followed by goals for supporting the family caregiver. These included the caregiver maintaining his or her health and minimizing family conflict.

These goal-setting measures need more research but may be useful in dementia care. Those in a clinical setting may want to work with dementia patients and family members to list realistic goals that are important to them, researchers advised.

Results appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in October.