Dementia 2013: The hidden voice of loneliness explores how well people with dementia are living.
The report found that 70% of people with dementia had stopped doing things they used to due because of lack of confidence, 63% felt anxious or depressed and 35% found that they had lost friends after diagnosis.
Over half (54%) of the general public surveyed felt that people with dementia have a bad quality of life.
The report recognises the need for people with dementia to have access to good quality end of life and palliative care that meets their needs. This is especially pressing because “the majority of people with dementia often have little opportunity to put plans in place for future and end of life care”.
The report recommends increasing awareness, and points to the Prime Minister’s dementia challenge Health and Care Champion Group and National End of Life Care Programme as initiatives which lead the way in coordinating end of life care for people with dementia.
The report findings are a result of a survey of 510 people with dementia or their carers, and a YouGov poll of 2,287 adults.
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.”
SCIE’s chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe welcomed the report, saying: “This important report from Alzheimer’s Society shines a light on how well people are living with dementia. The report acknowledges that some progress has been made over the last year and welcomes the priority that politicians and policy makers are giving to this often neglected group. But fine words and good intentions are never enough and the practical experiences of many people living with dementia demonstrate that we still have a lot to do.”