How does your economic background affect the dementia care you access?

Research project: ‘Socio-economic predictors and utilising formal dementia care and the experiences of people with dementia and caregivers: A comparison between England and the Netherlands.’

Lead Investigator: Clarissa Giebel

  • Institution: University of Liverpool
  • Grant type: Knowledge exchange fellowship
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Amount: £9,985

Why did we fund this research?

Comments from our Research Network volunteers:

This is a very important area which needs more research – there are a lot of inequalities in accessing dementia care. I speak from personal experience.

Project summary

People from disadvantaged backgrounds can struggle to find and understand healthcare information due to health illiteracy. This can make it more difficult for people to access the dementia care they need.

This research team will investigate the experiences of British and Dutch people affected by dementia who are from different socio-economic backgrounds and support work to design solutions that will help people to access the care they need. 

The background 

People from disadvantaged backgrounds often experience difficulties in accessing and using health care services. This can be linked to health illiteracy, as people from disadvantage backgrounds can struggle to find and understand health information. 

Across Europe, health illiteracy is high in areas of socio-economic deprivation, the North West coast of England is one of the most deprived areas of the country as is Maastricht in the Netherlands. 

This can lead to difficulties for this group in accessing formal dementia care which includes home care, respite care, equipment and care home fees.  All of these can be costly and increase in cost depending on the level of supported needed by the person with dementia.

What does this project involve?

Researchers from University of Liverpool and Maastricht University have united to tackle this complex issue. They aim to discover how people with dementia from different socio-economic backgrounds access and use formal dementia care both in the UK and the Netherlands. 

Clarissa Giebel will travel from Liverpool to Maastricht four times during the 18 month long project. She will conduct interviews and circulate a specially developed survey with people with dementia and their caregivers to understand their experiences.

How will this project help people with dementia?

This project was co-designed by a former carer and a former care home staff, they along with a person affected by dementia will continue to be involved in the project, attending meetings, visits and being involved in dissemination.

Findings from this fellowship will form the basis for ongoing research which will design a solution to this difficult issue.

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