Concerns over number of men accessing dementia helpline

Alzheimer’s Australia says that men living with dementia or those caring for a person with the disease could be missing out on vital support as figures show just one in five callers to the National Dementia Helpline are men.

Alzheimer’s Australia says that men living with dementia or those caring for a person with the disease could be missing out on vital support as figures show just one in five callers to the National Dementia Helpline are men.

The consumer peak body, which provides the free National Dementia Helpline service, said its figures showed 78 per cent of total callers to the service were female, that there were almost four times as many daughters ringing the helpline as sons, and that almost three times as many female partners than male partners were calling.

The National Dementia Helpline, funded by the Commonwealth, is a phone, email and web-based voice call service providing information and support for people with dementia, their carers, families and friends, health and aged care professionals.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic CEO Maree McCabe said with an estimated 70 per cent of people with dementia living in the community, there were many men who were either caring for a partner, spouse, parent, friend or sibling, or who were living with a diagnosis themselves, who may not be getting access to all the support and resources they needed.

The latest comments from Alzheimer’s Australia echo those of men’s health advocates who have previously highlighted the under-utilisation of aged care services by men and the need for new strategies to better target this cohort.

Dr Anthony Brown, Adjunct Fellow at the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre, Western Sydney University, previously told Community Care Review that providers of community care and day therapy centres needed to consider the range of services they offer, and the language and imagery used to promote them, in order to reach out to older men who continue to access services far less than women.

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has shown that older women are much more likely to use a home care package than men, making up two out of three community aged care consumers.

Women were also greater users of home care packages at all ages and across all levels of packages, the AIHW figures showed.

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Tags: alzheimers-australia, dementia, Dr Anthony Brown, maree-mccabe, National Dementia Helpline, university-of-western-sydney,

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