Gender, citizenship and dementia care: a scoping review of studies to inform policy and future research
Gender is a neglected dimension in public discourse related to people with dementia. Those living with this condition are typically portrayed in policies and strategies in gender neutral terms as ‘people with dementia’ and ‘family carers’ as if gender does not matter, when clearly it does. The purpose of this scoping review was to take stock of knowledge about gender differences in relation to dementia care to inform policy and future research. The work is grounded in a feminist perspective to citizenship, as this provide a lens with which to expose and examine gendered assumptions within dementia studies. A search of four databases, including CINAHL, Web of Science, Medline and Cochrane was conducted using systematic techniques between May and July 2014. A repeat search was conducted in February 2015. We found a significant amount of valuable research concerned with gender differences in relation to dementia care published from 1990 to 2014; the majority of which lacks a feminist citizenship perspective. Moreover, a disproportionate number of studies focused solely on caregivers rather than citizens with dementia. As such, questions about gender equality are not being raised and the voices of men and women with dementia are silent. Thus we argue for increased gender-sensitivity in policy making and recommend that social scientists inject a feminist citizenship perspective into their work.
Manuscript. Published version available in Health and Social Care in the Community (2016)