Understanding Ageing and Its Association with Increased Risk of Dementia


In this assignment, the field of practice to be focussed is ageing. Ageing is the process in which functional as well as structural changes happens within the body of individuals due to wear and tear of cells with the passage of time that is no more replaced (Higgs and Gilleard, 2017). The elderly people are prone to suffer from increased risk of dementia in which people experience memory loss, degraded cognitive skills and others and it occurs as a result of failure or death of the nerve cell in the brain (Matthews et al. 2016). The aged people are at risk of dementia as certain regions of the brain are unable to establish effective communication through the nerve cells as the dead or defective cells cannot be replaced or renewed due to lack or reduced level of cell division with ageing. In addition, with ageing blood flow to the brain are reduced making the cells present in the region unable to avail the proper amount of nutrients and oxygen to ensure effective functioning (Chen et al. 2016). Thus, with ageing, the lack of proper functioning of the body to replace dead or damaged cells in the brain leads elderly people to face the risk of dementia.


Practice question and explaining components of question

The practice question is: What are the health complications and stigmas related to the presence of dementia among the aged people in the South-Asian and Black communities in the UK?

Dementia is mainly a nature of chronic brain disorder which hinders the mental processing that is mainly marked by health complications such as personality changes, memory disorder and impaired reasoning ability along with language development (Livingston et al. 2017). The causes of dementia among the elderly people mainly include infection to the central nervous system, brain injury and others but the age-related deterioration in health and brain functioning is regarded as the key cause of dementia among the elderly (Prince et al. 2016; Giebel et al. 2019). There is widespread stigma regarding presence of dementia among the elderly in South-Asian and Black communities due to which effective healthcare is unable to be received by the individuals. This is because the stigma is referred to as a nature of disgrace which is associated with a particular condition or health disorder which negatively portrays the condition making individuals develop misconception regarding the health disorder. It eventually leads people of the communities to disrespect the individual or the group as they are regarded to be involved in something that is not approved in the society (Jutlla and Kaur, 2019; Blakey et al. 2016).

Significance of the question

The question developed in the study is significant as by identifying the health complications and stigmas of dementia faced by the elderly people in South-Asian and Black communities would help to determine the nature of crisis intervention for the individuals. The crisis intervention is referred to as the short-term and immediate response to any distress related to emotional, physical, mental and behavioural aspect of the body. The crisis intervention is important as it assists to restore equilibrium to the biopsychosocial functioning of an individual as well as lower the impact of long-term distress to be faced by the person (Streater et al. 2017). Thus, the crisis intervention through the question is essential for the aged people who are suffering from dementia in the South-Asian and Black communities within the practice because it would lower their emotional turmoil and negative psychological condition faced as a result of the stigma and health complication regarding the health disorder. Moreover, the intervention would help to improve the physical behaviour of the target individuals thus making the elderly people be able to develop improved health.

The question identified is significant in practice as it is going to inform the nature of empowerment and advocacy to be provided to the elderly people suffering from dementia in the South-Asian and Black communities. This is because identifying the health complications and stigma faced by elderly people in these communities would indicate nurses in practice to determine the people to be approached on behalf of the patients and the way services are to be provided to ensure the elderly dementia patients do not become the burden of care on others (Berwald et al. 2016). The question exploring the stigma regarding the presence of dementia among the elderly in the South-Asian and Black communities is significant to be explored in practice so that the nature of stigmas which are affecting early care for the elderly people in the communities can be identified. This is required to determine the nature of the intervention and ethical decision of care to be taken so that the discrimination can be resolved and quality health condition can be ensured for the elderly. It is essential as it would help the elderly to control the negative beliefs that contributed to raise healthcare crisis for them. The question is personally important for me as it would provide me information regarding the nature of stigma related to dementia present in the South-Asian and Black communities which are leading aged people to be unable to access proper care as well as experience abuse or harm in the society.

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Berwald, S., Roche, M., Adelman, S., Mukadam, N. and Livingston, G., 2016. Black African and Caribbean British communities’ perceptions of memory problems:“We don’t do dementia.”. PloS one, 11(4). pp.23-34.

Blakey, H., Parveen, S. and Oyebode, J.R., 2016. Does size matter? The benefits and challenges of voluntary sector partnerships in dementia service provision for South Asian communities in England. Voluntary Sector Review, 7(2), pp.191-208.

Chen, A., Akinyemi, R.O., Hase, Y., Firbank, M.J., Ndung’u, M.N., Foster, V., Craggs, L.J., Washida, K., Okamoto, Y., Thomas, A.J. and Polvikoski, T.M., 2016. Frontal white matter hyperintensities, clasmatodendrosis and gliovascular abnormalities in ageing and post-stroke dementia. Brain, 139(1), pp.242-258.

Giebel, C.M., Worden, A., Challis, D., Jolley, D., Bhui, K.S., Lambat, A., Kampanellou, E. and Purandare, N., 2019. Age, memory loss and perceptions of dementia in South Asian ethnic minorities. Aging & mental health, 23(2), pp.173-182.

Higgs, P. and Gilleard, C., 2017. Ageing, dementia and the social mind: past, present and future perspectives. Sociology of Health & Illness, 39(2), pp.175-181.

Jutlla, K. and Kaur, H., 2019. The Experience of Dementia in UKSouth Asian Communities. Supporting People Living with Dementia in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities: Key Issues and Strategies for Change, p.55.

Livingston, G., Sommerlad, A., Orgeta, V., Costafreda, S.G., Huntley, J., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J. and Cooper, C., 2017. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet, 390(10113), pp.2673-2734.

Matthews, F.E., Stephan, B.C., Robinson, L., Jagger, C., Barnes, L.E., Arthur, A. and Brayne, C., 2016. A two decade dementia incidence comparison from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies I and II. Nature communications, 7(1), pp.1-8.

Prince, M., Ali, G.C., Guerchet, M., Prina, A.M., Albanese, E. and Wu, Y.T., 2016. Recent global trends in the prevalence and incidence of dementia, and survival with dementia. Alzheimer's research & therapy, 8(1), p.23.

Streater, A., Coleston-Shields, D.M., Yates, J., Stanyon, M. and Orrell, M., 2017. A scoping review of crisis teams managing dementia in older people. Clinical interventions in aging, 12, p.1589.

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