‘Migrants in age more often demented than the Dutch’
Elderly people with a Moroccan, Turkish or Hindu background are three to four times more often demented than the Dutch. That’s according to research by neuropsychologist Özgül Uysal-Bozkir, who today will be awarded a phd at the University of Amsterdam.
That reports the Volkskrant. In addition, according to research among more than 2,000 elderly people that migrants age often suffer from loneliness and depressive symptoms. That can be a precursor of mental illness.
The cause is according to the researcher partly in the socio-economic status. The not come true expectations, or nostalgia for the homeland may also play a role. In addition, migrants of Turkish, Moroccan and Hindustani origin, inter alia by genetic predisposition, more often, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. That increases the risk of dementia.
Finally, struggling group, according to Uysal-Bozkir possible with the “individuelere” Dutch culture. Often they come from a society in which social contacts are maintained.
In her research, argues Uysal-Bozkir also for change of the testing methods, which according to her is not culture-neutral. So, the Dutch have a very different affinity to a tennis ball than an elderly man of Turkish descent, who in his life never has played tennis. In addition, the majority of the Turkish and Moroccan elderly, illiterate and uneducated, which also can have a major impact.
Two employees of the VU medical center (VUmc) emphasize the importance of the findings. “But three or four times as high, it seems to me very much”, Max Stek, professor of ouderenpsychiatrie. The study had a high dropout rate of participants that interim results may distort. Uysal-Bozkir calls this itself is also one of the limitations of her research.