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Care services for elderly people with dementia in rural China: a case study.

Wu, Christina; Gao, Lin; Chen, Shulin; Dong, Hengjin.
Bull World Health Organ; 94(3): 167-73, 2016 Mar 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26966327

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the state of the health and supportive services available to elderly people with dementia - and their families - in rural Lanxi county, in the province of Zhejiang, China.

METHODS:

In November 2014 and January 2015, we interviewed 14 key informants on dementia care face-to-face, using a semi-structured questionnaire. The informants included three rural physicians, an urban geriatrician, seven directors of institutions for the care of the elderly and three officials of the civil affairs bureau. We also completed in-depth interviews with five family caregivers of elderly people with dementia.

FINDINGS:

The interviewees indicated that there was a lack of specialized services designed specifically to address the needs of individuals with dementia and their family members. Non-psychiatric medical services and the available facilities for long-term care appeared to be ill-equipped to manage these needs. They lacked both clinical staff and standardized, evidence-based practices for the diagnosis, care, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with dementia. As care facilities often refused to admit elderly people with dementia, families were generally forced to care for elderly relatives with dementia at home.

CONCLUSION:

In Lanxi county - and probably in much of rural China - more public resources are needed to support family caregivers and to improve the capacity of care facilities for the elderly to care for individuals with dementia.