Study into attitudes to dementia care reveals gap between genders

The sexes appear to differ in how they view dementia care

Attitudes to dementia and how to care for people differ widely between men and women, according to a study.

It suggests women are far more likely to disagree that all hospital treatment for people with dementia is based on research evidence (53% compared to 44% of men surveyed).

Nearly half of women (48%) did not believe families of people with dementia are listened to by the healthcare system if they are worried about someone, compared to 37% of men.

Just over four fifths (81%) of men and 70% of women did not believe dementia was a normal part of ageing and 50% of both sexes had little confidence a cure would be found in their lifetime.

June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University which conducted the research, said: ‘Women are more affected by dementia worldwide, more likely to get it, be carers for those with it as well as be in lower paid jobs as carers.

‘Men have more faith in the system and health and social care staff, and also tend to be the ones making policy on dementia. We need to now consider if these attitudes are taking us in the wrong direction.'

Half of men felt going to hospital and taking medication was likely to help people with dementia, compared to 44% of women, and men were more likely to feel voluntary euthanasia should not be a legal option for people with dementia (48%, compared with 40% of women).

More than 2,500 people took part in the year-long study.


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