One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds poll

Dementia: One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds poll

One in six people suffer loneliness when diagnosed with dementia
One in six people suffer loneliness when diagnosed with dementia

The majority of people living  with dementia in Wales have  reported feeling lonely and suffering with depression and anxiety, according to a new report.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia 2013 report, published  today Tues, found that 70% of people with dementia said they had stopped doing things they used to due to a lack of confidence while 63% also felt anxious or  depressed.
A third of people said they had lost friends after a diagnosis, while 62% of those who lived on their own said they were lonely.
Meanwhile, 63% of people in Wales said they believed those with dementia have a bad quality of life.
There are now more than 17,000 people diagnosed with the condition in Wales – an increase of 800 people since last year.
The charity is now calling on for appropriate support services  to be made available, while urging people and organisations to play their part in helping ensure  their communities are dementia  friendly.
Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer’s Society in Wales,  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 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.”
The research also found that  people with dementia said they  relied on relatives and friends  for social contact but 21% said  they speak to friends or family  on the telephone less than once  a month.
Older People’s Commissioner  for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said:  “The figures published today by  the Alzheimer’s Society reflect  what many older people from  across Wales, as well as their  families and those who care for  and support them, have told me  about the impact that dementia  can have on an individual’s quality of life.
 “More must be done to ensure  that people with dementia have  the right help and support, delivered on a timely basis, to  remain active and engaged in  their communities, which can  make such a positive difference  to people’s lives.
 “There is already much good  practice underway in Wales,  with a number of excellent  schemes, such as volunteer befriending schemes, that play a  vital role in helping older people  with dementia to maintain their  independence and maintain  their quality of life.
 “As the number of people  with dementia will increase in  the years ahead, this good practice must be rolled out more  widely across Wales, alongside  other important  initiatives like  dementia-friendly communities,  to ensure that people with dementia can have the best possible quality of life.”
Age Cymru spokesman Iwan  Rhys Roberts said: “With one in  three over 65s set to develop  some form of dementia over the  next 20 years these figures highlight potential areas for improvement in the care that is  provided for people who have  dementia.
“Age Cymru has long called  for a commitment to providing  more money for research into  the causes of dementia so that  this research is proportional to  the potential burden of the disease.
“Treatment services must  provide a holistic approach and  address all the needs of individual patients and attention  should also be given to improving public awareness of the  symptoms of dementia and reducing the levels of stigma attached to the condition.”
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “We have worked in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to improve support for people with dementia and their carers, and have focused recent investment on provision and support.
“The development of dementia-friendly communities is a key aim of the Dementia Vision for Wales, which was developed jointly with the Alzheimer’s Society and published in 2011.
“Our work on the development of dementia-friendly communities in Wales will continue to emphasise the availability of information, support and advocacy services, and training for those delivering care to ensure we better recognise and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness and dementia.
“The Commissioner for Older People has established a new five year Ageing Well in Wales Programme, which will support the Welsh Government Phase 3 Strategy for Older People.
“One of the four areas that the Programme is initially looking at is creating dementia-friendly and supportive communities – five sites in Wales have already committed to action.”

I have just read this article and I find it to very so very true these days.


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