Indications of dementia disease include deterioration of memory, thinking, behaviour, and the
ability to perform everyday activities. Any of these symptoms can lead to stress and difficulties
organizing everyday life. As a way to view factors that support human health and well-being despite
stressful situations, Antonovsky introduced a salutogenic model. This model proposes that
sense of coherence primarily determines physical and mental health i.e. psychological well-being.
Having a sense of coherence in everyday life can reduce the impact of stress on the individual in
everyday life. The study’s aim of this study was to explore how participants in existing support
groups scored on the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC), and what they perceived as contributory
factors to a meaningful, manageable, and comprehensible everyday life in the presence of dementia
using a mixed method. Persons with dementia had the highest scores on the SOC scale and their
partners the lowest. Persons with dementia expressed that being with others who understood
them made their everyday life comprehensible and manageable. Their partners expressed that
learning about dementia was helpful in managing and comprehending everyday situations. The
adult children expressed that it was meaningful to care for their parents and they scored slightly
higher than the partners on the SOC scale. Long-term ongoing support supplemented with information
and social support can contribute to the sense of coherence in persons with dementia and
their next of kin.
2015. Vol. 5, 490--499 p.