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Being at risk of dementia: Fears and anxieties of older adults

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lynne Corner, Professor John Bond

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Abstract

Early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and dementia maximizes the potential benefits of early access to specialist therapies and support. Barriers to early diagnosis include late presentation. Research has traditionally focused on people following a formal diagnosis. Very little is known about the perceptions of older people, who, because age is an important risk factor, can be said to be at risk of developing dementia. Changes in cognition, competence, and personality are often dismissed as 'normal aging.' The views of older people were explored using qualitative interviews. The findings reinforce existing research evidence that suggests that some older people fear developing the condition. Participants felt uncomfortable with friends or relatives with dementia and were reluctant to contact health professionals about memory problems. There was uncertainty about the causes of dementia, anxieties about loss of self-identity and dignity, and long-term care. Greater understanding of this group's views could help inform information strategies and health and social care policy. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Corner L, Bond J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Aging Studies

Year: 2004

Volume: 18

Issue: 2

Pages: 143-155

ISSN (print): 0890-4065

ISSN (electronic): 1879-193X

Publisher: Pergamon

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2004.01.007

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2004.01.007


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