Clarke et al, Measuring Wellbeing

Living a life filled with rich and meaningful experiences is essential. For people living with dementia, this is no different. According to the authors of a research paper, Measuring the well-being of people with dementia by Clarke et al, wellbeing has often been used interchangeably with other concepts like health or quality of life. The authors contend that understanding the differences is important when it comes to encouraging and supporting people with dementia in the pursuit of their own wellbeing. As part of their research in lived experiences, they identified six descriptive themes, which they later grouped into four categories. 

  1. Emotional Wellbeing
    • Feeling Positive – feelings of hopefulness, humour, positive attitudes, acceptance, optimism.
  1. Psychological Wellbeing
    • Going Beyond – strengths, personal growth, making meaning, transcending challenges of dementia
    • Agency and Purpose – keeping going, remaining active, autonomy, resilience
    • Positive Sense of Self: self-worth, sense of identity, and self-efficacy.
  1. Social Wellbeing
    • Connections and Belonging – close relationships, sense of belonging and acceptance, social participation, social engagement
  1. Life Satisfaction
    • Valuing Life – general sense of feeling well, and being satisfied with life
Artful Moments - Laurie asks participants how they feel while looking at a painting, Harlequin by Melanie Authier, 2020.
Laurie asks participants how they feel while looking at a painting, Harlequin by Melanie Authier, 2020.

It is important to consider this work carefully, as it is based on the experiences and self-reporting of people living with dementia. Listening to, and understanding what is meaningful to our participants is essential for the development, delivery, reflection and analysis of our program(s).

We studied, compared, and considered these four explorations of wellbeing, while integrating our own experiences from Artful Moments. The result was our own definition of Wellbeing.


Clarke, C., Woods, B., Moniz-Cook, E., Mountain, G., Øksnebjerg, l., Chattat, R., Diaz, A., Gove, D., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Wolverson, E. Measuring the well-being of people with dementia: a conceptual scoping review. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes (2020) 18:249