Rural and Urban Canadians with Dementia: Use of Health Care Services

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Fall 2006


Canadian Journal on Aging





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The purpose of this research was to examine the characteristics of older Canadians with dementia (compared to those without dementia), their use of health care services, and the impact of place (rural/urban) on use of services. Andersen and Newman's Behavioural Model of Health Services Use (1973) guided the study. A cross-sectional design used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) Cycle 1.1 (N = 49,995 older Canadians; those with dementia = 313). Results indicated that among Canadian females between the ages of 50 and 64, those with dementia were more likely than those without dementia to live in rural areas. Among females 80 years of age and over, those with dementia had higher levels of education and income than those without dementia. In addition, a higher proportion of white than of visible minority Canadians was afflicted with dementia. The results further suggest that Canadians with dementia primarily required support services and that they were more likely than persons without dementia to report that their health care needs were unmet. It is recommended that publicly funded national home care programs be expanded to ensure that the supportive services needed by this population are available.