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Resolve to make time for people with dementia, urges charity

Alzheimer's Society research shows people begin to feel cut off from others after diagnosis 

More than half the people living with dementia – 64% – feel isolated from friends and family following first diagnosis, according the research by the Alzheimer’s Society. 

The charity's study also showed that 42% of people who knew someone with dementia mistakenly believed that the person would not benefit from a visit once they no longer recognised them. 

The findings were based on an online survey of 4,249 adults last month, as well as a smaller Facebook survey of 300 people who either had dementia or knew someone who did.

The Alzheimer's Society warned that following the festive season, there are likely to be long, lonely days ahead for people with dementia until they are next able to socialise with anyone.

It also revealed that even though people with dementia may find it difficult to recognise faces as the condition progresses, they continue to hold an ‘emotional memory’ of loved ones. This means they continue to feel happy after a visit even if they have forgotten that it took place.

The survey also found that 54% of people with the condition were no longer taking part in any or hardly any social activities.

More than two thirds (68%) of respondents said they would still visit someone with dementia who no longer recognised them, either just as much or even more often than they do now. However, the charity pointed out that many do not turn this good intention into action.

Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: ‘New Year can be a bleak and lonely time for people with dementia and their carers.’

For more information see the charity's website here

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