Later in ru­ral ar­eas

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

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.

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