Background: Despite the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD), very few studies have examined advanced preparation for the possibility of becoming sick with AD, and these few studies indicate a general lack of preparation. This study aimed to expand knowledge regarding preparedness for AD among younger and older Israeli laypersons, and to explore the determinants of such preparedness, in terms of knowledge and beliefs concerning AD.
Methods: This study was based on a national representative sample of 632 Israeli laypersons. Participants were interviewed by telephone to assess their preparedness for AD, beliefs related to AD in terms of vulnerability, worry, fear, and perceptions about the importance of planning for the future, and their perceived knowledge of AD.
Results: Low levels of preparation for AD were reported, especially among younger participants. Multivariate analyses indicated that for both older and younger participants, taking actual steps to prepare oneself for AD was significantly associated with a general sense of preparedness, and that a general sense of preparedness was associated with perceptions regarding the importance of planning for the future. For older participants, a general sense of preparedness was also associated with greater knowledge of AD.
Conclusions: Findings indicate that Israeli laypersons are not preparing for AD, and that attitudes and beliefs play an important role in this preparation. Thus, measures should be taken to emphasize the importance of planning for the future contingency of AD in younger and older persons and to expand the knowledge of older persons regarding the disease.