Nurses' views on dementia care 'should be heard'

Dementia expert points to gap between female and male attitudes to dementia 

A dementia nursing expert said promoting the views of nurses – as well as those of women – is key to the future of caring for people with the condition. 

June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling said findings from a recent survey suggested differences between female and male attitudes to dementia.

Professor Andrews, speaking at the International Dementia Conference in Birmingham, said: ‘We’ve seen that being a nurse and being female makes you think about dementia in a very different way to the non-nursing and male respondents. In general, men are more upbeat about dementia but we can perhaps say women are more realistic. 

‘Women are much more likely to believe there is a role for euthanasia or assisted suicide and women dread dementia much more than men do.’

More than 2,500 people responded to the survey, which marked 25 years of the dementia centre at Stirling.

Professor Andrews said: ‘Policymakers in government and charities are male, so we really need to find ways of making sure women’s voices are heard in policy-making circles.

‘We have to look at this in terms of gender equality. We want to start including in our education programmes elements that influence the way professionals relate to males and females in respect to dementia.’

View the survey here.  


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