A lonely future: 120,000 people with dementia living alone will double over the next 20 years

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Each year, an estimated 6,000 more people with dementia live alone in cities across the UK, according to the leading dementia company Alzheimer's Society. The figures were published to celebrate the launch of the #AskUsAnything campaign of the charity, which takes place during the Dementia Action Week (20-26 May). The campaign aims to end the incapacity and create a more inclusive society for people with dementia.

Currently, there are around 120,000 1 people living alone with dementia in the UK. This number is expected to double to around 240,000 by 2039 2. It is also estimated that by 2025, there will probably be 700,000 people with dementia living in their local community, outside of those living in nursing homes, with an escalation of almost 1.3 million people within 2051 3, similar to the population of Birmingham 4.

Most people do not realize the closeness of people with dementia in everyday life, even if two-fifths of the UK population knows a family member or a close friend who lives with dementia. A new YouGov survey reveals that the majority of people (85%) believe that it is more likely to meet someone with dementia in a nursing home, when in fact two thirds of people with dementia live in the community. Even people are not aware of the scale of the problem: two fifths (39%) 5 underestimated how many people will live with dementia in the UK by 2051 by at least half a million.

Even with this underestimation, about eight out of ten (81%) believe that society is unprepared for the growing number of people with dementia.

New results from the Alzheimer's survey on over 350 people 6 with dementia on their experiences reveal that over half experience loneliness (58%) and isolation (56%), and are losing contact with people since she was diagnosed (56%). About a third said they could not spend time with friends, now they have dementia (29%) and about a quarter (27%) think they are not part of their community and said they believe that people avoid them (23%).

The prevalence of isolation and loneliness experienced by people with dementia could partly be explained by long-standing feelings of embarrassment and nervousness among the general public. Two fifths (40%) said they felt unsure about communicating with someone with dementia and a quarter (26%) said they felt nervous getting closer to someone with dementia.

Until a cure for dementia is found, the main charity of dementia is here to support and help everyone, whatever they are going through, so that they are included and supported to live the lives they desire without fear and prejudice.

The Dementia Action Week of the Alzheimer's Society aims to break down these barriers and initiate conversations throughout the UK, so people with dementia are included in society. As part of the campaign, the charitable organization has created a film of children asking people affected by dementia about stimulating and amusing questions, as a way to debunk the myths and show that people with dementia are still the same people. Using the #AskUsAnything hashtag, everyone is invited to share the movie and start talking to people with dementia and dementia. The film will appear on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram of Alzheimer's Society as well as in cinemas across the UK throughout Dementia Action Week.

The Dementia Action Week encourages the UK to join the Alzheimer's Society in taking small acts of kindness that make a big difference to people with dementia, helping them feel included and involved in society, whether it be a relative with dementia, a neighbor or a friend Dementia. Starting a conversation is just the beginning to make sure everyone with dementia is included in society.

Events also take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to raise awareness of dementia and provide answers to questions that people do not feel comfortable asking. These include:

  • The innovative new campaign of Alzheimer's Society, Dining4Dementia, inspired by the next series of Channel 4 "The restaurant that makes mistakes", which sees the leading restaurants as TGI Fridays and Pieminister join the Alzheimer & # 39 ; s Society to raise awareness that with the right support and small adjustments many people with dementia can be included in society and lead the lives they choose. People with dementia will join the restaurant staff and volunteer in front of the house from 18 to 19 May, offering customers a friendly experience of dementia and showing employers that it is possible for people with dementia to contribute still at work, even in hectic environments.
  • Annual conference of the Alzheimer's Society (21-22 May), focusing on isolation and how to find cross-sector solutions to create an inclusive society, which offers optimism for people with dementia.
  • Throughout the week of dementia action, go to the Alzheimer Society on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to ask questions of people with dementia as part of an acquisition of #AskUsAnything on social media.

The Week of Action Against Dementia is based on the work of the largest movement of social action in dementia – Friends of the dementia of Alzheimer's society. Now, with 2.9 million members, the initiative aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition, addressing the lack of understanding that results in such high rates of loneliness and social exclusion. There are also over 400 initiatives for dementia friendly communities, which stimulate businesses, individuals and groups to change the way they act and support people with dementia.

Additional results from the survey of people with dementia:

  • One in six (15%) admits that they do not do certain things because they believe that they will not be accepted or accepted.
  • About two fifths (37%) of our respondents confess that their neighbors don't even know they have dementia
  • A quarter (24%) say that some of their friends are unaware of their diagnosis.
  • 33% said they became emotionally distant from their friends

The UK public also underestimates the abilities of people with dementia and the contribution they can still make to society:

  • A quarter of people (25%) believe that people with dementia should have regular supervision by a carer for daily life
  • A third (33%) would be surprised if they were served by someone with dementia in a supermarket.
  • Two thirds (65%) think that people with dementia should stop driving
  • About a third (30%) assume that people with dementia must stop working

Ernie Malt, 72, was diagnosed with vascular dementia and a frontal temporal lobe contraction in 2014. Since his diagnosis, Ernie, who lives alone, has set up an insane coffee and sensory garden in his local church and land to help others with this condition. Ernie said:

"People with dementia were left at the end of the list of medical conditions and wanted to do something to improve access for people with dementia in my village. But one of my motivating factors for setting up the café for dementia in my village was also to help myself by supporting others rather than feeling sorry for myself.

"I feel alone – I have a family but I am not in the vicinity and it is not very often that people come to visit me at home. When you live alone, it is the little things that cause you problems, like walking in the kitchen and not knowing why you are there, or try to do something on the computer but have no idea what your password is. What I'd like to see is that dementia is seen at a similar level to other long-term illnesses. If more people understand the condition , will make the difference. "

Commenting on the results, Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at the Alzheimer & # 39; s Society, said: "The appalling isolation of so many people with dementia is a wake-up call for all of us. Reaching and starting the conversations can make a big difference, so people with dementia feel a lot more included in society, wrong ideas and feelings of clumsiness around say that the wrong thing is prevalent.We can change it by talking about dementia and taking time to talk to people with dementia.

"Dementia is not going away – two-fifths of us know someone with dementia and two million people will live with it by 2051. Too many people face a future on their own with dementia and without adequate support. Dementia should not mean becoming a a prisoner in your own home. It should not mean that everyday activities, such as going to the local store, fill you with anxiety and fear. And it certainly should not mean that people feel abandoned and isolated with nowhere to turn. 39; action against dementia is a protest cry for businesses, communities and people across the UK to join us and help people with dementia live a better life. "

Throughout the Alzheimer Society dementia action week (May 20-26), everyone is encouraged to do their part and engage in a simple action. It's as simple as having patience if someone is struggling in a queue, eating in a Dining4Dementia restaurant or being willing to help if someone seems confused.

This week of action against dementia, it's time to start talking. Find tips on starting a conversation with someone living with dementia on alzheimers.org.uk/DAW