Objective: To explore perceptions of the impacts of dementia on people living with the condition and those close to them and examine the relationship between dementia, disadvantage and social exclusion.
Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 111 participants: people with dementia (n = 19), carers (n = 28), health-care professionals (n = 21), social workers (n = 23) and service professionals (n = 20). NVivo 11 was used to code descriptions and identify impact areas.
Results: Participants described social, psychological, carer, material, service-based and disparity impacts associated with the experience of dementia. Some of these impacts correspond to social exclusion associated with age, but some are distinctive to dementia.
Discussion: It is argued that dementia generates its own forms of social disadvantage and exclusion. This is in addition to being subject to structural risk factors. The implications of the active effects of dementia as a social phenomenon should give rise to new policy and practice priorities.
SOURCE: Biggs, Simon & Carr, Ashley & Haapala, Irja. “Dementia as a source of social disadvantage and exclusion.” Australasian Journal on Ageing, 2019.
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