Dementia a massive worry for many of us
Published 21 May 2012
Dementia worries nearly two thirds of us according to a joint poll commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society and Saga Homecare.
The YouGov survey - released to mark Dementia Awareness Week™ - found that 63 per cent of people say they are worried about dementia in some way. The majority of people (61per cent) are worried about either themselves or someone they know developing dementia in later life. Yet despite their fears less than a fifth (16 per cent) of people want to know more about the condition, with 18-24 year olds the most keen to learn more (25 per cent) in comparison to only 15 per cent of over 55 year olds.
The poll also found that those aged 55 or over are the most worried (66 per cent) but dementia is even worrying over half of those aged between 18-24 (61 per cent). Additionally women are much more concerned about dementia than men with 70 per cent worrying about the condition in some way in comparison to 56 per cent of men.Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said:
'Dementia is the biggest challenge facing the UK today so it's not surprising that people are so worried. There is currently no cure and people aren't getting the care they deserve. However we know that with the right support people can live well with the condition for a number of years.'
Caroline Woodhead, 55, from North Yorkshire, has Alzheimer's disease and is one of the three faces of Dementia Awareness Week™. She said:
'This Dementia Awareness Week™ we need to stop worrying and start understanding dementia. Whether you have five minutes or half an hour please take some time to learn about dementia. Only through knowing more will we ensure the people with the condition are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.'
'Before I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease I used to worry about it too. Now I have it. I'd rather I didn't have it but I don't dwell on it. People don't realise it's possible to live well with dementia. I was diagnosed at the age of 52 and I still enjoy life - I can sing, drive, go for walks and use a computer. I would encourage everyone to find out more about the condition this Dementia Awareness Week™. By understanding dementia better, we can break down these barriers and show that life does not end with a diagnosis.'
Dementia Awareness Week™ is being held in partnership with Saga Homecare. Saga Homecare, which is part of the larger Saga group, provides care at home for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes.
John Ivers, Chief Executive of Saga Homecare said:
'We are delighted to be partnering with Alzheimer's Society in raising awareness of dementia. Saga Homecare has extensive experience of providing ongoing support to people with this condition and we are harnessing our resources to help Alzheimer's Society make an impact with this worthwhile campaign.'
This Dementia Awareness Week™ Alzheimer's Society is encouraging people to 'remember the person' by looking beyond someone's diagnosis and engaging with them. The charity is helping people to learn more about dementia by promoting five key things everyone should know.
5 things everyone should know about dementia:
1. It's not a natural part of growing old.
2. It's caused by diseases of the brain. The most common of these is Alzheimer's.
3. It's not just about losing your memory - it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks.
4. It's possible to live well with it.
5. There's more to a person than the dementia. Other key findings from the poll include:
- 24 per cent of people said they are not worried about dementia at all
- 23 per cent of people believe dementia is a result of old age
- 19 per cent of people believe there is nothing you can do to reduce your risk
- Only 18 per cent of people realise dementia is a terminal illness
- 21 per cent of people think they have a good knowledge of dementia
-Ends- Notes to editors:
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4276 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 16th April 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
- Dementia Awareness Week 2012 is sponsored by Saga Homecare. Together Alzheimer's Society and Saga Homecare hope to maximise awareness and understanding of dementia across the UK
- You can find out more about Dementia Awareness Week™ at alzheimers.org.uk/remembertheperson
- Alzheimer's Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer's disease. In just 15 years a million people will be living with dementia
- Alzheimer's Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them.
- Alzheimer's Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Alzheimer's Society needs to raise money to help people live well with dementia today and for research to find a cure for tomorrow
- You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
- Alzheimer's Society provides a National Dementia Helpline. The number is 0845 300 0336 or 028 9066 4100 in Northern Ireland, or visit alzheimers.org.uk
- Dementia Awareness Week™ is trademarked
- The company's staff is working with Alzheimer's Society to plan local fundraising and awareness raising events.
- Together Alzheimer's Society and Saga Homecare hope to maximise awareness and understanding of dementia across the UK.
- Saga Homecare provides care at home for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes
- Saga Homecare has around 100 branches across the UK and provides approximately 11 million hours of care nationally each year. For more details visit: saga.co.uk/home-care
- Saga Homecare employs around 8,000 care workers across Britain
- Saga Homecare is part of the larger Saga group, well know for products and services for the over-50s
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