People with dementia left without support
Published on 25 February 2015 12:01 AM
Thousands of people with dementia left without support after diagnosis
With the number of people living with dementia estimated to hit one million by 2020, Age UK is warning of an urgent and growing need to support those who have been told they have the condition
Currently around 686,000 people in England are estimated to have dementia and that figure is likely to rise[i]
But there are clear signs that access to support for the growing numbers of newly diagnosed is not keeping pace. Recent studies have found 61 per cent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and other forms of the condition say they feel depressed or anxious largely because of a lack of support.[ii] In addition only 58 percent say they are living well post-diagnosis. [iii]
Surveys show that dementia is the illness most feared by people over the age of 55, who are understandably concerned about losing their memory and identity.[iv]
Age UK and its partners around the country routinely hear of people who have been told they have dementia and then find they have nowhere to turn to for support or help in understanding how it will affect their lives day to day.
Age UK believes support is critical after diagnosis to help people come to terms with the life-changing news and to understand that it is possible to live well with dementia.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK said, 'With growing numbers being diagnosed with dementia, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone has somewhere to turn to for emotional and practical support and advice.
'The prospect of losing our identity and memory is very frightening. That is why it's so important that people are given help to see that life can still be fulfilling and that a diagnosis doesn't mean you can't live well.'
Last year Age UK received more than a thousand calls for advice about living with dementia and requests for its booklets on early-stage dementia and caring for someone with dementia.[v] To request a copy telephone 0800 169 6565.
A number of local Age UKs around the country - run services to help people with dementia and their families to live well for as long as possible. Age UK has just announced funding for a further five pilot projects in Newcastle, Norfolk, East Cheshire, South Staffordshire and Exeter. These include schemes providing dementia advisers in hospitals who will work with GPs and post-diagnosis peer support groups.
For more details of Age UK's ongoing projects to support those who live with dementia and their families, please contact the press office.
Media contact: Mallary Gelb
Tel: 0203 033 1682
Out of hours: 07071 243 243
[i] A successor to the National Dementia strategy- Alzheimer's Society and Deloitte
[ii] A successor to the National Dementia strategy - Alzheimer's Society and Deloitte
[iii] A successor to the National Dementia strategy - Alzheimer's Society and Deloitte
[v] Living with early-stage dementia - Age UK and Caring for someone with dementia - Age Uk
We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).