Understanding of senile dementia by children and adolescents: Why grandma can't remember me?

Jong Ling Fuh*, Shuu Jiun Wang, Kai Di Juang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The present study sought to determine the knowledge and attitudes concerning senile dementia among children and adolescents in Taiwan with the intent of using the results in the design of an educational program about senile dementia for this population. Methods: A 10-item questionnaire was distributed to all students aged 10 to 15 at 7 geographically selected public schools in Taiwan. The teachers in these schools and a group of 20 health professionals who were specialists in dementia were also invited to complete questionnaire for comparison. Results: The majority of children, adolescents and teachers worried that their parents and grandparents might develop dementia in the future. Seven percent of all the student respondents felt that they would be embarrassed to invite classmates to their homes either because of actual demented family members living at home or if the hypothetical situation arose in which they actually had demented family members living at home. The younger students were more likely to have this feeling (χ2 for linear trend=73.636, df=1, p=0.000). Conclusion: Younger children were more likely to feel stigmatized by dementia in a family member which suggests that they may need more psychological support in order to effectively deal with dementia related issues. These results have important implications for the development of suitable educational programs about dementia in the curricula of primary and junior high schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Taiwanica
Volume14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Aging
  • Children
  • Cultural beliefs
  • Dementia
  • Illness concept

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