World’s largest dementia study reveals two-thirds of people think dementia is a normal part of ageing, rather than a medical condition – Alzheimer’s Society comments.
95 per cent of participants think they could develop dementia in their lifetime – a survey of 70,000 people across 155 countries reveals
Ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), Alzheimer’s Society’s international partner, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), has released the World Alzheimer’s Report 2019: Attitudes to dementia. The report shows that in the UK, 2 in 5 (39%) of healthcare practitioners agree that physicians and nurses ignore people with dementia and that over two thirds (67%) of people believe that people with dementia are impulsive and unpredictable. Only 53.3% of healthcare practitioners surveyed agreed that there are competent healthcare practitioners for the diagnosis and treatment of people living with dementia.
The report highlights that globally, two-thirds of people believe dementia is a normal part of ageing. It also references the great increase in awareness in countries such as the UK, no doubt in part due to Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Communities initiatives.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, says: ‘Dementia is not a natural part of ageing, yet someone develops it every three seconds – it is a global health crisis. While dementia is affecting more and more people, it’s horrifying to hear that so many who have it are still experiencing terrible stigma as they simply try to get on with their daily lives. This is unacceptable and highlights the urgent need for us all to take action.
‘To find that so many UK healthcare professionals agree those in their profession are ignoring vulnerable people with dementia and that only half believe competent practitioners exist in this area when they should be their mainstay of support, is deeply concerning.
‘We are at the forefront of a movement to alter misconceptions about people with dementia. Today I’m delighted to announce we’ve reached a new milestone, having reached three million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends in the UK. This has inspired a global dementia-friendly movement of 61 initiatives, leading to 18 million Dementia Friends worldwide. This army of people is challenging stigma every day in workplaces, schools and public places – making sure that people with dementia are better understood, included and respected here and all over the world.’
This World Alzheimer’s Day, Alzheimer’s Society is calling on more people to get involved by becoming Dementia Friends helping make the change that’s so desperately needed by the 850,000 people in the UK and the 50 million across the globe living with dementia. Visit dementiafriends.org.uk to get involved.