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Age differences in attitudes about older adults with dementia

  • Christie Newton (a1), Thomas Hadjistavropoulos (a2), Natasha L. Gallant (a2) and Ying C. MacNab (a3)

Abstract

Dementia, a term that describes a variety of brain conditions marked by gradual, persistent and progressive cognitive decline, affects a significant proportion of older adults. Older adults with dementia are sometimes perceived less favourably than those without dementia. Furthermore, compared to persons without dementia, those with dementia are often perceived by others as having reduced personhood. This study was aimed at investigating whether differences in attitudes towards dementia and personhood perceptions vary as a function of age group, care-giver status, attitudes towards ageing, dementia knowledge, gender and education. In total 196 younger, middle-aged and older adults were recruited. Findings revealed that being a care-giver as well as having less ageist attitudes were predictive of being more comfortable around persons with dementia, having more knowledge about dementia and ascribing greater personhood to people with dementia. Those with more dementia knowledge (prior to the study) were less comfortable around people with dementia. Finally, when controlling this prior dementia knowledge, older adults were more comfortable around people with dementia compared to younger and middle-aged adults. Gender and education were not associated with any of the variables under study. Findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of age- and care-giver-related factors in the determination of attitudes towards dementia.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: Thomas.Hadjistavropoulos@uregina.ca

References

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Keywords

Age differences in attitudes about older adults with dementia

  • Christie Newton (a1), Thomas Hadjistavropoulos (a2), Natasha L. Gallant (a2) and Ying C. MacNab (a3)

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