Number of people living alone with dementia is “set to double”

Number of people living alone with dementia is set to double

If you’ve ever had a family member or friend suffering with dementia, you’ll know just how important a support network, and ultimately unique home care, is in for caring for them. However, an Alzheimer’s charity has predicted this week that by the year 2040, as many as 240,000 people will be living alone with the disease in ‘frightening isolation’. This is double the figure currently estimated, reports the Guardian.

The prediction is based on a study, which interviewed 354 people with dementia to discover how it affects their social life, as well as how they interact with the world on a day to day basis. In the study, 58 per cent said that they experience loneliness, while 56 per cent said that they suffered from being isolated.

This experience is amplified by the dementia diagnosis, as they lose friends, social contact, and endure a general ‘awkwardness’ that comes with dealing with the disease. 33 per cent said they have become distant from friends since a diagnosis, with almost a quarter also admitting that they hadn’t told friends about their condition. On the other hand, 40 per cent of the general public admitted in a separate survey that they would not feel confident communicating with someone with dementia.

The story quotes Ernie Malt, who has vascular dementia, on how this translates into his everyday life: “When you live alone it’s the little things that cause you problems, like walking into the kitchen and not knowing why you’re there, or trying to do something on the computer but not having a clue what your password is,” he explained.

Jeremy Hughes, the charity’s chief executive, explained that too many people faced a future alone and without the adequate help and support needed to stop people with dementia becoming imprisoned in their own homes.