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Experiences of rural life among community-dwelling older men with dementia and their implications for social inclusion.

Authors
  • Hicks, Ben1
  • Innes, Anthea2
  • Nyman, Samuel R3
  • 1 Centre for Dementia Studies, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.
  • 2 Salford Institute for Dementia, The Dementia Hub, Allerton Courtyard, Salford, UK.
  • 3 Interim Deputy Head, Department of Medical Science and Public Health,and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Dementia (London, England)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
Volume
20
Issue
2
Pages
444–463
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1471301219887586
PMID: 31718267
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Current international dementia care policies focus on creating 'dementia-friendly' communities that aim to support the social inclusion of people with dementia. Although it is known that the geo-socio-cultural rural environment can impact on the experiences of people living with dementia, this can be overlooked when exploring and implementing social inclusion policies. This paper addresses an important gap in the literature by exploring the perceptions of daily life for older men (65+ years) living with dementia in three rural areas of England. Open interviews were conducted with 17 rural-dwelling older men with dementia and the data elicited were analysed thematically to construct two higher order themes. The first focussed on 'Cracking on with life in a rural idyll' and highlighted the benefits of rural living including the pleasant, natural environment, supportive informal networks and some accessible formal dementia support. The second presented 'A challenge to the idyll' and outlined difficulties the men faced including a lack of dementia awareness amongst their family and the wider rural community as well as the physical and internal motivational barriers associated with the rural landscape and their dementia. The findings were interpreted through a lens of social inclusion and demonstrated how the geo-socio-cultural rural environment both enabled and inhibited facets of the men's experiences of life in their communities. Based on these findings, the paper offers recommendations for practitioners, researchers and policy makers wishing to promote social inclusion in rural-dwelling older men living with dementia.

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