The Understanding and Experiences of Living with Dementia in Chinese New Zealanders

Gary Cheung, April Yuehan Su, Karen Wu, Blake Yue, Susan Yates, Adrian Martinez Ruiz, Rita Krishnamurthi, Sarah Cullum
2022 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Little is known about the lived experience of dementia in the New Zealand Chinese community. This study aims to explore the understanding and experiences of living with dementia in Chinese New Zealanders. Participants were recruited from a memory service and a community dementia day programme. In-depth interviews were conducted by bilingual and bicultural researchers. The recorded interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Sixteen people living with dementia and family carers
more » ... pated in this study. The first theme revealed the lack of understanding of dementia prior to diagnosis, the commonly used term of "brain shrinkage" and that dementia is associated with getting older. The second theme covered the symptoms experienced by people with dementia and how family carers found anhedonia and apathy particularly concerning. The third theme highlighted the tension between cultural obligation and carer stress. The fourth theme is about the stigma attached to dementia. Our results provide some insight into ways to improve dementia care for Chinese New Zealanders, including targeted psychoeducation in the Chinese community to improve awareness and to reduce stigma, access to person-centred interventions, and learning about strategies for healthy ageing to live well with dementia, and emotional support and psychoeducation for family carers to reduce carer stress.
doi:10.3390/ijerph19031280 pmid:35162305 pmcid:PMC8835650 fatcat:ju6yxljn7jfvdddp4lu75luflq