Rural Access to Dementia Support

Dementia-related support and education service accessibliity in rural areas: Barriers and promising solutions

The majority of people with dementia live in the community, most with the support of informal caregivers and/or community services. Support and education services are important to help people with dementia and their caregivers, but rurality appears to impact the availability and accessibility of such services. It is important to identify the scope of services available to and needed by rural populations, and any existing barriers to their accessibility and use. Moreover, it is important to examine potential solutions to reported barriers, in order to better understand how dementia-related services can be designed and implemented successfully to meet the support and education needs of rural populations. The purpose of the current scoping review is to investigate the support and education needs of people with dementia and their caregivers living in rural areas, availability and use of support and education services, barriers to access and use of services, and solutions to reported barriers.

Aging with Cognitive Impairment

Aging alone with cognitive impairment: An assessment of functioning and factors associated with social well-being

Aging well and at home may be difficult for older adults who live alone and have cognitive impairment (greater difficulties with memory and other aspects of cognition than would be expected with normal aging). Although researchers have found that people with dementia living alone experience increased difficulty in some areas not all aspects of wellbeing have been studied, and little is known about people living alone who are cognitively impaired but do not have dementia. The first goal of this study is therefore to explore relationships between cognitive impairment, living arrangement, and the functional, psychological, and social wellbeing of Canadians. The second goal of this research is to explore factors that contribute to social wellbeing for people with cognitive impairment; this is important because social wellbeing is related to many aspects of aging well. This research is being conducted with data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a national study following approximately 50,000 older Canadians over time.

Dementia Diagnoses

Patient and family experiences of dementia assessments and diagnosis: An evaluation of RaDAR's rural PHC dementia model

Provision of dementia care within primary care may be particularly important for rural communities, where human resources are limited and accessing specialized services is a challenge. This makes developing the capacity of rural providers to deliver high quality dementia care and services a priority. In order to address this issue, the Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) team is developing a Rural Primary Health Care (PHC) Dementia Model in partnership with PHC teams, that operationalizes best practices in dementia care (including collaborative team-based care). The model is being piloted and adapted by PHC teams within two rural communities: Kipling (population <1,100) and Weyburn (population >10,000). While initial feedback from teams using the toolkit has been positive and illustrates the challenges and strengths of adopting such a model in rural communities, the perspectives of patients and families need to be assessed to further evaluate this model of care. The goal of the current research is to explore the assessment and diagnoses experiences of patients and families seen by the Kipling and Weyburn teams who have adapted different approaches (a sequential assessment by team members on different days vs. a one-day memory clinic).