Three quarters of people in the UK feel that society is not geared up to deal with dementia according to a new report by Alzheimer’s Society.
Dementia 2012: A national challenge reflects the negative impact this is having on people with dementia. The report found that three in five (61 per cent) people diagnosed with dementia are left feeling lonely, four in five (77 per cent) feel anxious or depressed and nearly half (44 per cent) have lost friends. Alzheimer's Society is calling for a radical shift in the way society treats people with dementia to ensure they receive the support and respect they deserve.
Speaking at the launch of Dementia 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron issued the first ever Prime Ministerial challenge on dementia outlining plans to give a boost to dementia research, address quality of dementia care and increase understanding of the condition. As part of this challenge, Alzheimer's Society will begin work to make villages, towns and cities more dementia friendly.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said:
'Today's announcement by the Prime Minister marks an unprecedented step towards making the UK a world leader in dementia.
'There are currently 800,000 people with dementia yet too many are not able to live well with the condition. The PM is leading the way but from Plymouth to Preston, from the boardroom to bus drivers, we all have a role to play.'
Michelle Forster's mother May is 68 and was diagnosed with dementia in July 2009. Michelle, 44 from Cheshire, said:
'Sadly, Mum has lost many friends since she was diagnosed, perhaps because people were embarrassed, confused or frightened. She has also lost touch with her two sisters. It is hard because she seemed to become more isolated when she needed people most. It's great to see Alzheimer's Society and the government coming together to better support people with dementia in their local area.'
Other key statistics include:
- 68 per cent of people with dementia had a gap of longer than a year between noticing symptoms and getting a diagnosis. Eight per cent had to wait five years or over
- 48 per cent of people with dementia feel like a burden to their family
- Only 12 per cent of people with dementia feel they always have a voice in their community
- Half (47 per cent) of people with dementia feel their carer may not be getting the support they need
- 46 per cent of people with dementia don't always have choice over the support services they could receive
- Only a quarter (26 per cent) of people with dementia always have the opportunity to meet and talk with other people with dementia
- A third of people do not receive enough information about their condition and almost half do not receive enough information to plan for the future
- 82 per cent of people with dementia feel there should be more funding for dementia research
Data from YouGov survey 23 - 29 December 2011 of 2,070 members of the UK public. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)