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The number of people living alone with dementia in the UK is expected to double to around 240,000 by 2039.
The Alzheimer’s Society, which is launching Dementia Action Week between 20-26 May, is calling on people to start talking and include people living with dementia after discovering that six in ten people with dementia say they experience loneliness and isolation.
There is up to an estimated 120,000 people living alone with dementia in the UK. As well as predicting this figure to double, the charity also estimates that there are likely to be 700,000 people with dementia living in their local community, outside of those living in care homes, by 2025 - escalating to almost 1.3 million people by 2051, similar to the population in Birmingham.
A new YouGov poll revealed that 85 per cent of people believe they are most likely to meet someone with dementia in a care home, when in fact two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community. People are also unaware of the scale of the problem – 39 per cent underestimated how many people will be living with dementia in the UK by 2051 by at least half a million.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The frightening isolation of so many people with dementia is a wakeup call for all of us. Reaching out and starting conversations can make a big difference, so people with dementia feel much more included in society. Misconceptions and feelings of awkwardness around saying the wrong thing are prevalent. We can change that by talking more about dementia and taking time to talk to people with dementia.'
“Dementia isn’t going away – two fifths of us know someone with dementia and two million people will be living with it by 2051. Too many people face a future alone with dementia and without adequate support. Dementia shouldn’t mean becoming a prisoner in your own home. It shouldn’t mean that everyday activities, like going to the local shop, fill you with anxiety and dread. And it most certainly shouldn’t mean people feel abandoned and isolated with nowhere to turn. Dementia Action Week is a rallying cry to businesses, communities and individuals across the UK to unite with us and help people with dementia live better lives.”
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