Later in rural areas
PEOPLE who are older, living in rural areas and from lower social classes, are more likely to delay seeking help for symptoms of dementia, according to a study.
It has found that people who have less experience of someone with dementia are also more prone to asking for care.
The findings have emerged in research by the Department of Public Health in UCD, presented to the scientific meeting of the Royal College of Physicians.
The authors point out timely diagnosis of dementia could offer significant benefits for patients and their caregivers.
The study was conducted to investigate help-seeking attitudes and behaviour in relation to dementia amongst Irish adults.
It used data from the Health Service Executive Dementia Omnibus Baseline Survey Questionnaire, which was completed by 1,217 adults aged 16 years and older living in Ireland in January 2016.
Multiple barriers to help-seeking were identified such as feeling ashamed. GPs were rated highest as a help source, followed by partners/family members.
The study findings identified several groups that are potentially vulnerable to delayed help-seeking. The importance attached to GPs as a source of suport was noted and highlighted the critical role they play in identifying and caring for individuals with suspected dementia, the study added.