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Social aspects of dementia are becoming increasingly important as part of a wider shift in emphasis from cure to care. This is partly because approaches based on finding a cure have proved far more difficult and complex than originally imagined (WHO, 2016). New evidence on the effectiveness of public health measures, that while incidence is growing as the proportion of older people in society increases its prevalence amongst older adults is actually falling, has also lead to increased interest in social dimensions of prevention, lifestyle change, and practical intervention in community settings (Prince et al., 2016; Kivipelto et al., 2017). This, in turn, has led to a rediscovery of the role of supports to people living with dementia in their daily lives, the needs of informal carers, and professional activities that can maintain the social engagement of each party (Winblad et al., 2016). The expansion of practice around person-centered care, beyond traditional institutional settings, has also contributed to a socialized view of how interactions in dementia care are thought about (Bartlett et al., 2017), as has an increased awareness of the effects of the social construction of dementia in the public mind (Biggs, 2018). Most recently, people living with dementia, and particularly with respect to younger onset dementia, have begun to find a voice and to make connections to the wider disability movement (Dementia Alliance International, 2017). Each of these developments, in their different ways, have led to a re-emphasis on psycho-social elements of dementia, its experience, and how that might translate into clinical practice and service delivery.
A shift toward public health responses to dementia, raises questions about the most appropriate approaches to specific population groups. We examined perspective and age as elements in effective campaigning. Implications from the standpoint of the recipient are drawn for public health education and practice.
In-depth semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interview with self-selected participants recruited via adverts, contact with provider organizations and cards placed in retail and service settings. Questions focused on attitudes to dementia and expectations of public campaigning and education.
Community-dwelling adults were interviewed across five Australian states.
A total of 111 people from 5 target groups: people with dementia (n = 19), carers (n = 28), care work and service professionals from healthcare (n = 21), social work (n = 23) and commercial service professions (n = 20) involving people in younger adulthood (n = 13), early midlife (n = 23), later midlife (n = 54), and older age (n = 21).
All interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically by three researchers, reaching consensus before coding and further analysis in NVivo. Narrative analysis of transcripts included 330 topics relating to 6 main areas of focus.
Attitudes and views on effective future campaigning reflected a desire for greater social inclusion, but did not focus on prevention and health services. Professionals focused on increasing interpersonal skills, people with dementia on normalization, and carers on awareness-raising.
Public health campaigning and education in relation to dementia, could benefit from closer consideration of perspective and age of recipient in intervention design. Interpersonal skills and social inclusion were identified as key issues.
The relationship between work and family is considered with an emphasis on policy solutions. Australian policy is a case example in the context of international trends. A mismatch between policy initiatives and familial and personal priorities constitutes a new social risk associated with demographic and sociocultural development. Contemporary trends, both nationally and internationally, evidence solutions to the “problem of demographic aging” by adopting a form of economic instrumentalism. This restricts legitimate age identities to those associated with work and work-related activity. When applied to family life, such a focus runs the risk of reducing policy interest in intergenerational engagement to unpaid care roles, while personal development and age-related life priorities are ignored. The need for cultural adaptation to population aging is becoming accepted in policy debate and is considered here as an effective response to the personal, social, and economic risks of population aging and associated impacts on family life.
Background: Elder mistreatment, social ageism, and human rights are increasingly powerful discourses in positioning older people in society, yet the relationship between them has rarely been subjected to critical investigation. This perceived relationship will have implications for how mistreatment is understood and responded to.
Method: Critical gerontological approach based on narrative and textual analysis.
Results: Reports of public attitudes toward mistreatment suggest that it is thought to be more common than scientific evidence would suggest; however, reporting is much lower than prevalence. While the discourse over mistreatment has tended to focus on interpersonal relationships, ageism has emphasized social attitudes, and human rights have concentrated on relations between the state and the individual.
Conclusions: In this paper, a series of models have been examined which mark a tendency to restrict and then attempt to reintegrate individual, interpersonal, and social levels of analysis. It is concluded that a focus on the processes of transaction across boundaries rather than contents would facilitate both integrative modeling and deeper understanding of the qualities of abusive situations.
To examine 21-year longitudinal changes in dietary habits and their associations with age and marital status among women aged 50–60 years at baseline.
Prospective, longitudinal study of a cohort in the FINMONICA population-based risk factor survey with clinical assessments in 1982, 1992 and 2003. Dietary habits were assessed via self-reported consumption of foods typically contributing to SFA, cholesterol and sugar intakes in the Finnish diet. A dietary risk score based upon five items was used.
Kuopio region, Finland.
Complete data from all three assessments for 103 women of the original cohort of 299 were included for two age groups: 50–54 and 55–60 years at baseline.
Dietary habits improved between 1982 and 1992 and showed continued but less pronounced improvement between 1992 and 2003: within the younger age group, 78 % of the women reduced the number of dietary risk points from the 1982 to 2003 scores, whereas 3 % increased them and 19 % reported no change. In the older age group these percentages were 61 %, 23 % and 16 %, respectively. Women who remained married showed a steadier decline in dietary risk points than single women or women who were widows at the beginning of the follow-up.
Older women make positive changes to their dietary habits but the consistency of these changes may be affected by the ageing process, marital status and changes in the latter.