05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Indonesia

05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Indonesia

18 Apr 2022

In Indonesia, there is very limited public understanding of dementia. Most of the public considers dementia to be a normal process of ageing, which leads to a low sense of urgency to seek treatment and care (Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2014; Suriastini et al., 2016). A study in 2002 highlighted how families often feel ashamed about having a family member with dementia and some hide them from the wider community. People with dementia sometimes get neglected by their families, as they are seen to be causing disturbance or inconvenience. Decline in cognitive functions and memory of older people continues to be normalised and expected (Yuniati, 2017). In Indonesian culture, the role of the caregiver is typically undertaken by older adults in the family, such as the father, mother, or grandparents who are able to provide care. There is also an expectation for women to take care of their ailing parents-in-law (Widyastuti et al., 2011). Some caregivers described the changes in the person they care for as funny and normal. Caregivers generally do not expect that the condition of older people will be cured and just hope the treatment can delay the deterioration. In 2018, a study found that stigma around older people is persisting in general; older people are sometimes viewed negatively as unproductive members by their immediate surroundings (Yulianti, 2018). However, adult children in Indonesia have a sense of obligation and loyalty that drives them to continue caring. Older people are traditionally seen as authorities of wisdom, worthy of respect, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.


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Suriastini, Turana, Y., Witoelar, F., Supraptilah, B., Wicaksono, T., & Dwi, E. (2016). Policy Brief Angka Prevalensi Demensia: Perlu Perhatian Kita Semua. SurveyMETER, Maret, 1–4.

Widyastuti, H., Sahar, J., & Permatasari, H. (2011). Pengalaman Keluarga Merawat Lansia Dengan Demensia. Jurnal Ners Indonesia.

Yulianti. (2018). Dampak Program Elderly Day Care Service terhadap Kesejahteraan Lansia Studi kasus di Panti Sosial Tresna Werdha Budi Dharma Bekasi.

Yuniati, F. (2017). Pengalaman Caregiver dalam Merawat Lanjut Usia dengan Penurunan Daya Ingat. Jurnal Bahana Kesehatan Masarakat, 1(1), 27–42.