The impact of dementia on service use by individuals with a comorbid health condition: a comparison of two cross-sectional analyses conducted approximately ten-years apart
Background The presence of concomitant medical conditions in people with dementia is common. Dementia may be related to differential use of health, social and informal care. Methods Data from two large UK population-based studies (CFAS I & II) of adults aged 65 years and older were analysed using logistic regression for binary outcomes and Poisson regression for count outcomes to look at differences in non-dementia service use by those with dementia and a health condition in comparison to those with the health condition alone. Results A total of 1619 individuals from CFAS I and 3805 individuals from CFAS II over the age of 75 years were included in this analysis. The presence of dementia and either stroke, diabetes or visual impairment tended to increase the likelihood of a range of different services being used over having any of the health conditions alone. There has been a shift to the use of unpaid care over time. There is now increased use of unpaid care from friends and family by those with dementia and another health condition in comparison to the health condition alone. Conclusions Either due to the decrease in care home spaces or affordability, people with dementia are now relying on unpaid care more than people with other long-term health conditions.