Psst, wanna hear some spicy gossip straight from Edith Cowan University (ECU)? Apparently, immigrants with dementia are more likely than their Aussie counterparts to get aggressive and agitated. These intriguing tidbits come courtesy of a fresh study, done in a team effort with The Dementia Centre, HammondCare. Who would’ve thunk?
A couple of brainy folks at ECU’s Centre for Research in Aged Care, alongside the sharp cookies at HammondCare’s The Dementia Centre, found out that certain ‘fun’ symptoms of dementia, such as aggression and agitation, don’t exactly spread their charms evenly among all. It seems that a person’s cultural background might make them more susceptible to a particular presentation of dementia.
The study dove into comparing clinical characteristics and fascinating dementia side-effects between immigrant and non-immigrant senior residents. Hold on to your hats, kids! You won’t believe this, but apparently immigrant oldies tend to get a tad more agitated or aggressive. The local seniors, on the other hand, prefer the psychedelic route of hallucinations and delusions.
These revelations have been unearthed thanks to the assistance provided by Dementia Support Australia (DSA), a government-funded dementia behaviour support program. They’ve been serving piping-hot help to over 60,000 clients and fluttering around 98% of aged care homes since 2016! Talk about stamina.
Don’t go thinking you can categorize dementia behaviour just yet! Language barriers and cultural differences pose their own set of hurdles when it comes to immigrants, multiplying the contributing factors to dementia behaviour.
Just to put things in perspective, over 400,000 peeps in Australia are rollin’ with dementia. Even though your fingers are probably a tad tired from scrolling, do some quick maths! A whopping 54% of people relaxing in residential aged care homes had a dementia diagnosis. Whoa. This party is about to double by 2058!
Pelden Chejor, the lead brainiac, treats us with more juicy numbers. Over 31% of aged care residents in 2019-2020 were not native Australians, and a cheeky 9.2% had a language other than English as their preferred means of communication. Talk about a multicultural fiesta!
Could it be that these new residents are attracting dementia like a magnet due to past traumatic experiences, low literacy, or socioeconomic status? The jury’s still out on that one.
But here’s a no-brainer: Loneliness, boredom, language barriers, and cultural considerations seem to crank up the BPSD volume for non-English-speaking immigrants. You’d think the universal language of old age wouldn’t be so hard to learn?
While these adrenaline-packed findings uncover lower rates of hallucinations and delusions with immigrant dementia cases, it seems communication difficulties might be the sneaky contributors to agitation and aggression. Apparently, cognitive decline can cause language-comprehending abilities to hang up their boots and compel dementia patients to switch to their mother tongue. So learning an additional language wasn’t such a waste of time after all, eh?
These bombshell findings are blowing the whistle for a bit more awareness and education about dementia. It’s about time we looked into this whole culture and language thing, don’t you think? As the saying goes, variety is the spice of residential care life!
Marie Alford, the queen bee of DSA, agrees with us. Responding to dementia isn’t just a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s more like browsing through a list of preferences on a dating app. The key to capturing dementia’s fickle heart lies in understanding individualistic factors like cultural backgrounds, experiences, pet peeves, and even the morning routine! Remember, communication is key, and knowing your rival’s background could just help win this dementia game! In many cases, this approach can hopefully avoid the prescription pad altogether.
Language barriers could contribute to higher aggression in people with dementia