Urban Indigenous Experiences of Living With Early-Onset Dementia: A Qualitative Study in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Meagan Ody, Cathryn Rodrigues, Parkash Banwait, Lynden Crowshoe, Rita Henderson, Elaine Boyling, Cheryl Barnabe, Pamela Roach


Background: The aim of the study was to build understanding about the lived urban Indigenous experiences of early-onset dementia (EOD) to inform health services planning.

Methods: A phenomenological qualitative pilot study completed with a total of five participants recruited and interviewed for 30 - 60 min. Interviews were transcribed using NVivo12 software and thematically coded with a multi-step process.

Results: Four overarching themes were identified: urban Indigenous understandings of living with EOD, Indigenous family experiences of adjusting to EOD, western approaches to healing and thriving with EOD, and Indigenous ways of healing and thriving with EOD.

Conclusions: The findings of this project provide better understandings of urban Indigenous experiences of EOD and also dementia more broadly. Through a better understanding of the Indigenous experiences of dementia, urban healthcare providers can be more aware of the needs of urban Indigenous people living with dementia, and specifically EOD, and may face and plan to co-design health services accordingly.

J Neurol Res. 2022;12(2):69-75
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr713


Dementia; Indigenous health; Qualitative research; Early-onset dementia

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