Rural Community Perceptions of Dementia in Older People and its Prevention
Keywords:perception, rural community, older persons, dementia, prevention
Introduction: Dementia can be found more commonly because people have a longer life expectancy. Thus, if this is appropriately controlled, resulting in older persons having a better quality of life. Research objectives: This study aimed to explore the community’s perception of dementia and dementia prevention in older persons in rural area. Research methodology: This qualitative study was conducted in two villages in a sub-district in Ban Fang, Khon Kaen province. Forty-four key informants were purposively selected. They were older persons and those involved in caring for the older persons. Data were collected using focus group and in-depth interviews. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Findings showed that those in the community were aware of dementia as being permanently forgotten or unable to remember. The factors related to dementia included senescence, loneliness without social interaction, less exercising, stress, unhealthy food, substance abuse, and sleep deprivation. Dementia prevention in older persons should employ fun activities with interacting with other older persons including: 1) activity for thinking of the past days in life; 2) activity for occupation promotion; 3) activity for preservation of local wisdom; 4) activity related to traditions, cultures, and religions; 5) activity for exercise with light physical movement; 6) frequent memorization; 7) reading, writing, and recounting stories; and 8) educating and campaigning for dementia prevention. Conclusions: The results of this study provide a guide for agencies, organizations and stakeholders to understand the community’s perceptions of dementia and the prevention. Implications: The findings provide guidance for stakeholders to develop cognitive-promoting models and activities to prevent dementia tailored to the needs and contexts of the elderly in rural communities.
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