Support Networks on the Care of Vulnerable Adults with Dementia


Dementia is a neurocognitive disorder in which the mental ability of the person deteriorates, and it infers with their independence in daily life. The condition makes the elderly to be vulnerable as they come the burden of care and needs support in many aspects from other due to cognitive decline that provides other with the opportunity to abuse them by talking advantage of dementia elderly’s health issues (Livingston et al., 2020). The fact is also supported by Ringer et al. (2017) where it is mentioned family caregiver faced burden of care to support the elderly with dementia, but they are willing to support them in enhancing the patient’s health. Dementia not only affects the elderly but the people in their middle ages, but they are in smaller number (Wu et al. 2019). Thus, the key focus of the patient in the study would be elderly as they are mainly affected by the disease. In this report, the role of social motivational factor and the social support network in caring for vulnerable adults with dementia is to be discussed. Thereafter, the way lack of social support affects vulnerable dementia adults is to be explained.


The social motivational factors are elements considered in the society by general individuals which makes them motivated to engage in supporting other people for enhancing their well-being (Surr et al., 2020). The role of education as social motivational factor in health and ill health regarding dementia vulnerability is that it helps to educate people in the society to overcome stigma regarding dementia and ensure timely access to care for people affected by the disease (Kim et al., 2019). This is because education aware people regarding the cause of dementia and overcome its myths along with the importance of accessing timely care for dementia (Kim et al., 2019). As argued by Parveen et al. (2020), the stigma and myths regarding dementia are that it is coming of age disease and cannot be managed it is punishment from God that avoided to be reversed. The presence of education among people help them to overcome these stigmas and access early care to avoid deterioration and increased vulnerability of dementia patients (Woo, 2017). Moreover, education as social motivation leads people to understand the way dementia occurs and the healthy activities to be incorporated in the life of dementia and non-dementia people to minimise the impact and risk of the disease (Woo, 2017). Thus, effective education is to be provided to the people and patients in care regarding health to make them avoid stigma and understand the significance of accepting early care as provided.

The presence of enhanced healthcare access as social motivation factor for ill health plays the role of providing improved screening and presence of preventive care on regular basis for people in society (Fowler et al., 2020). This is evident as presence of adequate and easily accessible care support for dementia care helps in preventing the worsening of the disease and effectively tackle vulnerable situation at the earliest for the patients by delivering them timely and immediate care (Galvin et al., 2020). Thus, effective healthcare access is to be made in healthcare environment equally for all so that better care environment can be developed. The presence of lower income inequalities in society is another social motivational factor in enhancing ill health such as dementia vulnerability among adults. This is because lower income inequalities indicate presence of nearly equal income among most families in the society which led them to have financial stability in spending adequate finances to avail different required care for tackling dementia for the family member (Mejia-Arango et al., 2021). It is argued by Brayne (2020), people from the low-income class suffering from dementia are often unable to spend adequate finances in availing healthy food, accessing social care and others needed for enhancing their health condition.

The presence of healthy housing and supportive community is another social motivation factor that enhances health of dementia patients (Brayne, 2020). This is because presence of unsafe housing and non-supportive society makes the dementia people be vulnerable to get financially and physical abused by individuals who take advantage of their diseased state or be at risk of develop co-morbid condition that further negatively affects their health (Brayne, 2020). Thus, people with low income and unsafe housing are to be financially supported and arrangement are to be made for their healthy living while caring for them to ensure their good health.

The social support network consisting of family, friends and peers from the community who socially provide care, support and assistance to the patient in overcoming any health issue gain well-being (Smith et al., 2018). In social support network, the family assistance and care deliver to the dementia patients plays the role of minimising vulnerable health condition of the patients such as stress, depression, isolation and others. This is because the carers from the family are seen to better understand the dislikes, likes and preferences of the patient with dementia, involve in frequent and detailed communication with the patients to make them feel supportive, offer shoulder to the patient to mention their worries to be resolved and show participation to make them avoid feeling lonely (Smith et al., 2018). As argued by Broady et al. (2018), lack of family support leads the dementia individuals to be lonely and lack trusted carer who could understand their preferences. It leads the dementia patients to live in care homes which are unfamiliar to them, making them show lack of effective acceptance of care out of trust issues in the new care environment (Broady et al., 2018). Thus, family as social support network for dementia patients are to be arranged for their better health and avoid them to stress of living in care homes which are unfamiliar to them.

The presence of peer support in the social network for the vulnerable dementia adults plays the role of reducing their isolation and loneliness related with worsening dementia and act as support to allow individuals manage their health condition in effective manner to develop well-being (Van Wijngaarden et al., 2018). This is because supportive peers frequently interact with the dementia patient to avoid making them feel lonely and rejected by the society which mentally makes the patients feel valued by others and develop enhanced mental condition to cope with dementia (Van Wijngaarden et al., 2018). Moreover, peer support makes the dementia patient access some assistance in everyday activities like walking, exercise and others that are beneficial for their health (Whitlatch and Orsulic-Jeras, 2018). Thus, peer support in dementia is required to be present for favourable healthcare to be provided to patients. The dementia patients are found to be financially abused where others or family members by taking the advantage of their deteriorated health uses their finances with force or without consent (Cooke et al., 2019). In this condition, the peer support play the role of helping the dementia patient from financial abuse as the peers would report such incidence and arrange services to protect their finances to be used in the patient’s care (Cooke et al., 2019).

The dementia patients often require assistance with performing everyday activities in life with the progression of their disease with age even after being managed with enhanced healthcare. This is because the care intervention in dementia slower the cognitive decline but is unable to cure the disease (Poey et al., 2017). In this condition, the lack of support networks for them makes the patient unable to effectively cared and their everyday needs to be met, eventually leading them to develop hindered health and well-being (Kovaleva et al., 2018). As argued by Smith et al. (2018), dementia patients are considered to be burden by the family without lack of social support network which leads them to abuse the patients to get rid of them. This impacts the dementia patients to face deteriorated health condition and early mortality (Smith et al., 2018). Thus, the lack of social support network creates arrangement of unsafe and untimely care along with fail to resolve abuse towrads the patients which makes them develop hindered well-being.

The lack of social support network negatively impacts the mental health of dementia patients by making them develop depression and stress regarding the disease. This is because without social support, the dementia patients remain lonely and isolated which makes them unable to share their needs and feelings regarding their health. It makes them remain worried regarding their health and uncertain of care condition to resolve their preferences, in turn, making stress and depressed regarding the deteriorated health condition (Whitlatch and Orsulic-Jeras, 2018). The lack of social support also hinders timely care to be reached to the dementia patients for their enhanced well-being. This is because the dementia patients being unable to take decision regarding their care due to cognitive decline show inability to understand when and from where to access care at the right time (Poey et al., 2017). The lack of social support network leads the dementia patient to remain unprotected from being abused by others who execute it, by taking advantage of their hindered health. This is because without effective support from family and friends the person involved in abuse of the dementia patient remain unidentified and charges are unable to taken against him out of the cognitive incapability to make decision by the patients (Poey et al., 2017). Thus, effective support network in dementia care I essential to be present so that the following adversities can be avoided.

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The above discussion informs that motivational factors include effective education, better housing and living condition and limited income inequalities are effective to manage ill health and vulnerability regarding dementia. The social support network plays the role of providing enhanced support and care, protection from abuse and others to the dementia patients. The lack of social support network involving family, friends and peers impact the dementia patients to be vulnerable to different nature of abuse, lack of effective care support, deteriorated health condition and others.


The recommendation for minimising vulnerability in care for adult dementia patients is creation of enhanced social support network for them. The social support network is to be framed with active participation from the health and social care staffs who would educate and collaborate the friends, peers and family members of the dementia patients in the care by mentioning them about the advantages for the patient and them.


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