There are currently 84, 413 people living with dementia in South West according to new figures released by Alzheimer’s Society and the charity’s latest report reveals many of those people are not living well.
Alzheimer’s Society is now urging government to end the artificial divide between health and social care which disadvantages people with dementia and to commit to a successor to the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia which is due to end next May.
Dementia UK: The Second Edition, produced by London School of Economics and King’s College London for the charity provides the most comprehensive review of dementia in the UK to date. It reveals that there are now 84,413 people living with dementia in South West and that there will be 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK by 2015, costing the UK £26 billion a year.
Despite these huge costs – two-thirds of which is shouldered by people with dementia, their carers and families – tens of thousands of people with dementia are still living without the right support to do everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating and going to the toilet.
As well as Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society has today also published Dementia 2014: An Opportunity for Change which provides a snapshot of how well people with dementia are living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It draws together evidence from a survey of over 1,000 people with dementia and their carers and more than 2,000 members of the public.
Key findings from the report include:
- Just over half of people with dementia (58 per cent), reported to be living well
- Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) said they had felt anxious or depressed recently
- 7 out of 10 people were living with another medical condition or disability as well as dementia
- Of those looked after by a carer, 43 per cent said their carer received no help with their caring role
Debbie Donnison, regional operations manager for Alzheimer’s Society: said ‘With over 84,400 people living with dementia in the South West and many more friends and family affected by the condition, it is vital the government takes action.
‘We know that parts of the South West are leading the way as some of the best performing areas for support after diagnosis. However, despite good progress, today’s research highlights the huge financial and human impact dementia is having.
‘In the UK one person develops dementia every three minutes. We must do more to ensure that everyone living with dementia gets the care and support they need.’
Tony, who cares for his wife who has dementia said: ‘Being given a diagnosis at the earliest opportunity is crucial to patients with Dementia, their carer and families – It enables them all to communicate and plan their way forward together, but we all need to be dementia aware, especially in light of these new figures.’
Philippa, who is a younger person with dementia said: ‘How can I plan for my future if I don’t know I have a diagnosis? I have a right to know! People need to be able to move on via a diagnosis, to learn to live with it. I need to have some control, a say over my health and wellbeing for the future. We’re too subtle about it (dementia), we have made it a hidden condition. Perception of dementia is skewed.’
More information about the reports is available on the Alzheimer’s Society website. Visit:http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
The charity has also released an interactive infographic to illustrate some of the key findings from the reports. To find out more view: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
(from a press release)
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