Knowledge of and attitudes to dementia

There are only two reports relating to attitudes to dementia in this section, reflecting the dearth of research in this area.

Attitudes to and Knowledge of Dementia in Northern Ireland

Dowds, L., MCPARLAND, P., DEVINE, P., Gray, A.M.

This report provides findings from a survey of the general public in Northern Ireland which explored attitudes to and knowledge of dementia.

The survey was carried out as part of the 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILT) and the findings are reported under four headings: knowledge of dementia; perceptions of people with dementia; attitudes towards people with dementia; and capacity for independent living (as perceived by the public). The findings indicate that while there is a reasonable knowledge of dementia among the general public in NI, there are significant gaps in their knowledge. Stigmatising attitudes to people with dementia are common and there is little belief in the capacity of people with dementia to live independent lives. 

Low Expectations: Attitudes on Choice, Care and Community for People with Dementia in Care Homes

Quince, C.
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)

This report documents the experiences of people with dementia living in care homes and the views of the public on care homes.

Three questionnaires were developed and the results used to inform the report: one for family members of people with dementia in care homes, one for staff in care homes in England, Wales and NI and one for people with dementia living in a care homes. The findings are supplemented with data from a 2012 YouGov poll on the attitudes of the general public to dementia and care homes. The report found that there were low expectations of the quality of life for those living with dementia in care homes across all groups surveyed, with a high percentage of adults expressing fear about potentially living in a care home in the future. It suggests more needs to be done to support people with dementia in the community and to promote choice and quality in care homes. While a high percentage of family carers rated the quality of care for the person with dementia as good, a lower percentage rated their quality of life as good. The overarching recommendation of the report is for government and the care sector to co-operate to improve public understanding of the potential for people with dementia to lead a good life in care homes, to challenge perceptions of poor practice, and promote care homes as appropriate places to care for people with dementia.