Community services for older people: a cross-sectional study to explore awareness and the degree of need for long-term care resources
Background: Dementia can lead to family, medical, and social burdens. Long-term care issues of older adults in Taiwan and the burdens of caregivers are beginning to be taken seriously by the government. Relevant resources for older adults have gradually increased; however, older adults and caregivers are often not likely to seek resources and might not know what resources are available. Aims: In this study, we screened for cognitive impairment among community-dwelling older adults, and investigated knowledge of dementia among older adults, awareness of long-term care resources, and the degree of need from caregivers’ perspectives. Design: A cross-sectional research design with purposive sampling was used. Methods: This study was carried out in a city in northern Taiwan. In total, 137 older adults completed the surveys with the following inclusion criteria: (1) being 65 years or older and (2) living at home. Additionally, 128 caregivers were also interviewed. Face-to-face interviews were conducted and self-administered questionnaires were delivered to all enrolled participants including: (1) a questionnaire of knowledge of dementia, (2) the Ascertain Dementia (AD)-8 questionnaire; and (3) awareness of community-based long-term care resources and needs questionnaire. Results: Results showed that 16.8% of older adults required a further definite diagnosis of dementia and had relatively low knowledge regarding dementia. Caregivers reported a low level of awareness regarding available long-term care resources despite needing and/or using those resources. Conclusions: Policymakers and practitioners should proactively promote supportive services for older adults and caregivers in the community. Future research should explore strategies for enhancing resource utilization and accessing tailored support to meet the needs of older adults with dementia.