The Stigma of Dementia

Elsevier, Genetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet in Dementia, The Neuroscience of Dementia, Volume 2, 2020, Pages 633-645
Albert Aboseif, Benjami K.P. Woo

As the global population ages, increased demand is being placed on healthcare systems to effectively manage and treat dementia. Negative cultural attitudes, coupled with misinformation regarding the condition, have created major barriers to proper care. A poor understanding of the various behavioral manifestations of dementia has led to delayed diagnoses, risks to patient safety, and poor access to vital resources. Those diagnosed early are often left feeling ashamed and misunderstood by friends and family. Among the general population, a lack of educational awareness has contributed to patient mistreatment, caregiver burnout, and inadequate research funding. While these issues are well documented in the literature, they remain routinely overlooked. Now more than ever, it's important that these issues be appropriately acknowledged in an effort to create tangible solutions. Only then can an ever-growing population of patients with dementia receive the care they rightly deserve.