Improving the Care of Persons with Dementia in Rural and Remote Areas
Rural older adults with dementia face multiple disparities accessing health care services, including greater travel distances.

A growing area of need in health care, rural dementia care demands the attention of health care providers, researchers, and policy makers.

Members of the RaDAR Team at the University of Saskatchewan are facing the challenge to improve the delivery of rural dementia care across the continuum: from early detection and diagnosis to end-of-life care. 

Research by the RaDAR Team is inspired by the needs of Saskatchewan's aging population:

  • As of July, 2015, more than 14% of the population of Saskatchewan is aged 65 years and over.
  • Currently, over 500,000 Canadians are estimated to be living with dementia, and the number is projected to rise to 937,000 in the next 15 years.
  • Older adults in Saskatchewan are much more likely to live in rural areas.
  • Rural older adults with dementia face multiple disparities accessing health care services, such as fewer services, greater travel distances, lack of transportation, lower availability of highly trained staff, and difficulty providing continuing education to health care providers.
  • There is a growing need for more research into new approaches for delivering services to rural and northern communities.
Health Sciences E-wing Building at the University of Saskatchewan is home to many members of the RaDAR Team
Research Nurse, Leslie Holfeld, relies on TeleHealth technology to support the work of the RaDAR Team

The team is guided by these strategies for care:

  • Improving the delivery of rural dementia care across the continuum: from early detection and diagnosis to end-of-life care.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment have been shown to be key components in alleviating stress, providing direction for treatment, and allowing patients and families to plan for the future.
  • The use of telecommunications and information technology are improving the delivery of health care services across distances.

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