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Care Services for Elderly People with Dementia in China


In China, the prevalence of health issues that relate to aging, as well as the longevity of the Chinese people, increases from time to time. According to research estimates, the proportion of the country’s population that comprises persons with 65 years or above is likely to increase by more than twice the current standings (9.0 percent to 22.6 percent) between 2010 and 2040. Such concerns prompted Wu, Gao, Chen, and Dong (2016) to research the same subject. This paper will provide a review of their study, namely, Care Services for Elderly People with Dementia in Rural China: A Case Study.

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Research Question

The research question of this study is, “do the Chinese rural regions provide care services for elderly people with dementia?” This study by Wu et al. (2016) aimed at determining the state of the supportive and health services available to elderly people, including their relatives, who suffer from dementia. Therefore, they decided to interview a few residents of the rural Lanxi County in search of the answer to this question.

Research Design

The site of study is a rural setup of Lanxi County of Zhejiang province, China. The researchers researched two sets. The first set took place in November 2014 while the other one was done in January 2015.

Sample Selection

The researchers used a sample that comprised 14 major respondents on the care for dementia. The interviewees included one municipal geriatrician, three countryside general practitioners, three representatives from the department of civil associations, seven directors from various institutions that attend to the elderly. They also engaged in a comprehensive consultation with five caregivers of the elderly people suffering from dementia (Wu et al., 2016). In my perspective, the sample size was appropriate because the respondents gave relevant feedback to the established questions. Besides, given the consistency of their answers, there was no need for a larger sample since additional informants are likely to give similar answers.

Data Collection Methods

The investigators used a semi-structured survey as the research tool, which they deployed in interrogating the above people. They collected the data by entering the answers from the respondents in the questionnaires.

Limitations of the Study

The researchers did not have professional clinical personnel or fact-based and homogeneous practices to be adopted when attending, analyzing, and/or managing patients who experience dementia. The surge in the prevalence of this condition can lead to death. Hence, more people could lose their lives if those with dementia do not receive care services. Lack of care for the people suffering from this condition, especially the elderly, puts them at the risk of getting a stroke, which could cause their death (Beerens et al., 2015). Hence, to overcome the limitation, researchers need to be equipped with knowledge in the field where they wish to carry out their study.

Findings of the Study

Although the presence of care centers that address the health problems of the elderly people are beneficial in terms of managing complications that come with aging, the researchers found that the country lags in establishing sufficient centers. For instance, the interviewees hinted that the rural parts of China did not have specialized services that could be used specifically to cater to the needs of the people suffering from dementia, including their families.

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The non-psychiatric therapeutic plan, as well as the existing amenities designed for long-standing care provision, seemed inadequate and ill-equipped to handle the issue. The most intriguing part of their findings is that the care facilities in China refuse to admit the elderly patients with dementia to the extent of forcing their families to cater for their health care at home.

According to their research, Wu et al. (2016) found that the risk of dementia among Chinese people in 2014, as projected in five sampled regions, hit beyond 5 percent (528/10276) and 23.3 percent (96/412) among the people with ages more than 64 and 84 years. The estimated sum of those suffering from dementia surged to more than 9 million in 2010. This figure was an overwhelming increase of more than 5.6 million when compared to the situation in the 1990s. The increase in the number of dementia cases underlies several shortcomings. For instance, it slices the earnings of those suffering from dementia and their family members by close to $185 in just one month. Hence, any person suffering from this illness has to spend at least $185 to cater to health risks that are associated with dementia.

Most aged people from the rural regions of China such as the Lanxi Province cannot pay for the $185 for day-by-day expenses on care services alone. They only depend on their family members to cater for the expenses. If the government helped the elderly with their dementia care needs, they would use the money on other aspects of life. While the burden seems to bend towards the victims and their relatives, the government is not safe either. The national health care expenses are likely to increase with a surge in the number of dementia victims. This claim means that it also shares in the shortcoming of this condition. Providing care services to those suffering from dementia will help the government to save at least ¥52billion, which it spends on national health care every year.

Summary of the Study

According to the American Nursing Association (2016), the primary aspect of nursing includes illness avoidance and therapeutic facilitation. Other aspects of nursing include lessening distress through detection and treatment and advocacy in caring for populations, communities, groups, and families. Hence, any activity that involves most of these concepts may prove relevant to nursing (American Nursing Association, 2016).

In their study to investigate the provision of care services for the elderly people suffering from dementia in some Chinese regions, Wu et al. (2016) confirmed that the Lanxi Province does not have enough amenities for addressing the demands of the elderly people who experience dementia. Since this research focused on the aged people with dementia, it remains relevant and significant to nursing on more than one level. Not only does it alert the Chinese nurses to provide care for these patients, but it also creates a basis for conducting further research on providing the best centers that can avail such services to this group of people.

Hence, based on the above findings, the evidence provided is strong enough to suggest a change in practice. For instance, several countryside parts of China, including Lanxi District, require additional public resources to establish centers that can support the aged and all family caregivers. Some of the capital should help the public to advance the competence of amenities that have been established to assist elderly people with dementia.

Reference List

American Nursing Association. (2016). What is Nursing? Web.

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Beerens, H., Zwakhalen, S., Verbeek, H., Ruwaard, D., Ambergen, A., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2015). Change in quality of life of people with dementia recently admitted to long-term care facilities. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(6), 1435-1447.

Wu, C., Gao, L., Chen, S., & Donga, H. (2016). Care services for elderly people with dementia in rural China: A Case Study. Bull World Health Organ, 94(3), 167-173.

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