In support of Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society has issued a study that has found that over half of people are putting off seeking a dementia diagnosis for up to a year or more, and almost two-thirds of people surveyed felt a diagnosis would mean their life was over.
The research also revealed there are many worrying myths that exist about dementia:
- 24% thought that people who received a dementia diagnosis would instantly have to stop going out for a walk on their own.
- 45% thought they would have to immediately stop driving a car.
- Over half (58%) of people think a dementia diagnosis means no longer enjoying the things they used to.
- 22% of people fear they would lose their partner or friends.
The study also found that two thirds (64%) didn’t think that they could seek help and support from a charity when they, or a person close to them, develops dementia.
Rachel Thompson, Admiral Nurse Professional & Practice Development Lead, Dementia UK comments on these findings:
“This report highlights that there is much more to be done to change perceptions and understand the benefits of getting an accurate diagnosis. It is incredibly important for all those affected so they can access available treatment and support. With skilled advice and support, families can be helped to understand symptoms, adapt to changes and make plans for the future. Research shows that exercise (like walking), continuing hobbies, and being involved in social activities helps people with dementia to live a more positive life and maintain a sense of identity. Our ‘There’s only one you’ blog post gives some advice and tips on how to live well.
Dementia affects everyone – the person with the condition and their family and friends. It is critical that the correct support and care systems are in place to ensure the well being of everyone involved. Our Dementia UK Admiral Nurse helpline is available to all people in the UK who are seeking help. It is a free service and open seven days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Call 0800 888 6678.”