Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor/Mentor

Gray, Michelle

Committee Member/Reader

Ferguson, Alishia

Committee Member/Second Reader

Sullivan, Amanda

Abstract

Introduction: The neurodegenerative effects of dementia resulting in cognitive and behavioral impairments is plausibly one of the reasons for a societal stigma towards individuals with dementia. Societal stigmas are associated with decreased life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and decreased psychological well-being for stigmatized individuals. In an effort to improve attitudes towards individuals with dementia, this study utilized a dementia simulation to measure attitudinal changes after a dementia simulation. Methods: There were 33 participants in this study (13 male and 20 female) between the ages of 18 and 25. Participants completed a Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS) survey, and then they dressed in a set of props that mimicked the effects of aging and dementia. Participants were then instructed to complete a series of tasks common to the routine of an older adult with dementia. Upon completion, participants were instructed to remove the props and complete the DAS survey again. Results: Attitudes improved significantly from pre- to post- simulation (102.5 to 108.1) by 5.54% through improvements in social comfort and dementia knowledge. Discussion: Because dementia simulations have the ability to improve attitudes towards dementia, thus destigmatizing individuals with dementia, dementia simulations should be made readily available for the general public in an effort to improve the life satisfaction and psychological well-being of individuals with dementia.

Keywords

dementia, attitudes, stigma, alzheimer's, caregivers

Available for download on Monday, April 25, 2022

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