Table 2

Cultural issues related to management

Most of the care of ethnic elderly patients with dementia is given by their families and informal caregiversLack of knowledge about dementia assessment centres (geriatric and psychiatry assessment clinics) and formal care servicesPromoting awareness and education of specific services is a crucial aspect of health services utilization5
Awareness of specific services is an important aspect of dementia health services utilization; ethnic caregivers are often less knowledgeable about dementia assessment centres and formal care services for demented patientsIncrease public awareness about dementia and mental disorders among ethnic elderly and their family caregivers by providing a forum or group where issues of dementia, caregiving, and diversity (eg, dementia information sessions for caregivers) can be discussed in community-based locations
Provide culturally sensitive, relevant materials about dementia written in their language
Complementary and alternative medicineUse of complementary and alternative medications or culturally specific home remedies for memory problems is not uncommon among ethnic elderlyInform patients that complementary and alternative medicines are not harmless medications and discuss the benefits and risks of these medications (eg, Gingko biloba)
Caregivers’ attitudesSome ethnic caregivers are reluctant to admit to the stress of caregiving; there are cultural implications to not accepting the caregiver roleIn order to provide effective dementia care for ethnic elderly, physicians need to earn the trust of patients and their families7
Many ethnic caregivers are reluctant to use formal support services, including home care services, respite programs, or day programsCulturally appropriate dementia care services should be provided by multilingual or bilingual and minority health care workers
Cultural obligations of these caregivers lead to underutilization of long-term care services among some ethnic groups