The Alzheimer’s Society says that people with dementia feel trapped and cut off from everyday local life.
One in three people over the age of 65 develop Alzheimer’s however the Alzheimer’s Society says that this large group of people is being neglected by society. Obtaining the view of 510 dementia patients and their carers a third of patients said they left their home only once a week, with one in ten saying they only got out once a month.
Nearly half of the people questioned said they felt like a burden and avoided getting involved in local life. Less than half felt like part of the community. The Alzheimer’s Society is now campaigning for towns and cities to become “dementia-friendly”.
A separate survey hosted by YouGov of more than 2,000 adults found that most dementia patients’ level of inclusion within the community was very bad.
The Alzheimer’s Society want leisure activities to include people with dementia and ensure local transport services cater to their needs. They also want shops and businesses to train their staff to be able to recognise and deal with customers who have dementia.
Lorraine Botbol, who cares for her mother who has dementia, called for more understanding about the disease.
“We took Mum out recently to a local supermarket because she used to love shopping,” she said. “We always have a problem when we get to the cash desk. Mum is sometimes vocal and it often irritates people in the queue or sometimes even the cashier. This time, my mum got upset, and the cashier said she’d rather be dead than have dementia.
“It really upset me. You can’t just turn your back on people when they have dementia. My mum still enjoys activities and I wish people would wise up and understand you still need to value person when they have dementia. They’re still there, they just express themselves differently.”
Chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society Jeremy Hughes finds it deeply saddening that so many dementia patients feel trapped and cut off.
“By committing to change, communities can give people with dementia the confidence to be part of local life and stay independent for longer. It’s vital that people sign up to the recognition process to kick-start this movement and help change attitudes and behaviour.”
Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s health secretary says that the government is committed to backing initiatives to help manage dementia. In December the UK is intending to use its presidency of the G8 to hold the first global dementia summit.
Two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community, with a third of these people living on their own. The increase in people with dementia is due to the increase of people living longer. It is estimated that there will be about a million people with dementia in the UK by 2021.