VIDEO: The reality of care for people with dementia in Chile

Dibujo que muestra a distintas personas mayores de pie.

Did you know that more than half of the carers of people with dementia have depressive and anxious symptoms? More details in this article.

By Natalia Correa.

Video showing the current situation of caring for people with dementia. Realisation: Bonsai Films.

In 2019, there were almost 175,000 people with dementia in Chile, and this number will increase to 492,000 in 2050.

The majority of people with dementia in Chile are women with an average age of 80, with mild to moderate cognitive and functional impairment.

Their physical and environmental needs are mostly covered, but their psychosocial ones are largely unsatisfied: 39.2% of people with dementia do not carry out significant activities during the day and 36.1% feel lonely.

This has serious consequences since people with dementia with more unmet needs and worse functional status have a worse quality of life.

Most of the time, it is the families that assume the care of people with dementia and generally it is only one person, a woman, who assumes the role of primary carer. The average age of carers is 58 years, most of them are married and are the daughters of the person being cared for.

In addition, more than 60% of carers have intense overload, and depressive and anxious symptoms, which affect their quality of life.

When the informal caregiver is young and has low social support, overload and anxiety, the person with dementia has more unmet needs.

This emphasizes the importance of considering the dyad of people with dementia and their informal carers in public policies, which must include timely, adequate and continuous support services. Eg. non-pharmacological interventions such as multi-component programs for people with dementia, or psychoeducation for carers.