More than 100,000 people with dementia who live on their own are lonely, a new report by the Alzheimer’s Society has found.
The report, Dementia 2013: The hidden voice of loneliness, found that 62% of more than 250,000 people with dementia who live on their own are lonely, compared to just 24% of over-55 year-olds.
Loneliness leads to lack of confidence
This loneliness is compounded by other issues; the report also found that 70% of people with dementia polled had stopped doing things they used to because of lack of confidence. The majority of people with dementia also felt anxious or depressed (63%) and 35% said they’d lost friends after a diagnosis.
Other findings of the survey of 510 people with dementia, or carers on their behalf, and a YouGov poll of 2,287 UK adults, included:
• 38% of all people with dementia said they felt lonely
• People with dementia said they relied on relatives and friends for social contact yet 21% speak to friends or family on the telephone less than once a month
• Only 23% of the general public thought it was possible for a person with dementia to live alone
The Alzheimer’s Society is calling on commissioners to ensure appropriate support services are available, while urging people and organisations to play their part in helping ensure their communities are dementia friendly.
Stark truth of dementia
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This report reveals the stark truth that too many people with dementia, especially the thousands who live alone, are truly isolated. We need to put a stop to this epidemic of loneliness, not only to improve quality of life but also to save thousands from reaching crisis point and being admitted to hospital unnecessarily or care homes early.
“The Prime Minister’s Challenge has put dementia in the spotlight. However, the reality is that many people still feel disconnected from society. It’s time for all of us to play a part in helping people with dementia live well with the condition.”Download the full report at http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=1677 (Picture posed by model)