Researchers from a university in Queensland have recently highlighted concerns over the low level of uptake when it comes to community services for those with early-stage dementia. Researchers and health professionals from Griffith University have been looking into this issue as part of a recent study. They claim that many of these community services could prove invaluable to both elderly people with early-stage dementia and their carers.
According to the report from the university researchers, the uptake of community services is generally low amongst elderly people. However, it is especially low amongst elderly people that have early-stage dementia and those that care for them. There are many facilities that are available for those with this condition. This includes dementia day centre facilities and support groups. Dr. Gillian Stockwell-Smith, who was involved with the study, said that many early dementia stage patients were reluctant to access any type of support until the condition had progressed.
Program resulted in greater confidence among dementia patients
As part of the study, Dr. Stockwell-Smith and her team carried out a psychosocial program at home with a small group of targeted people. Following the implementation and conclusion of the program, the team said that the results had been very positive among the target group. Following the program, participants were said to have shown more confidence in terms of finding the right community support. In addition, they demonstrated increased openness to expanding their network of carers rather than being reliant solely on their primary carer.
As part of the sessions involved in the program, dementia and support programs and services were discussed with the group involved. This provided the opportunity to identify gaps in knowledge about these services as well as to help with the identification and development of sustainable support networks.
Preparing patients with early-stage dementia
Part of the aim of this study was to prepare patients with early-stage dementia for their future care. The team wanted to improve the support networks of dementia patients and ensure that they were aware of the services and support facilities that are available to them. They said that this would help to prepare them so that they have facilities and support in place as the condition progressed into the later stages.
As part of Dementia Awareness Month in September, Dr. Stockwell-Smith and her team revealed details of the study at various groups and conferences. She also said that a similar program was being planned within a memory clinic setting for the future.