Number of dementia sufferers living alone set to double in next 20 years

Almost a quarter of a million people with dementia will be living alone within the next 20 years, a charity has said.

At the moment, an estimated 120,000 people with dementia live alone in the UK, but this is set to double to 240,000 by 2039, the Alzheimer’s Society said.

The figures were released to mark the launch of the charity’s #AskUsAnything campaign, which runs throughout Dementia Action Week next week.

The charity also estimates that, by 2025, there are likely to be 700,000 people with dementia living in their local community and not in care homes.

A poll of more than 350 people with dementia for the charity also found many experiencing loneliness (58%) and isolation (56%).

More than half (56%) had lost touch with people since being diagnosed.

About a third said they felt unable to spend time with friends now they have dementia (29%) and 27% did not feel part of their community.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The frightening isolation of so many people with dementia is a wake-up call for all of us.

“Reaching out and starting conversations can make a big difference so people with dementia feel much more included in society.

“Misconceptions and feelings of awkwardness around saying the wrong thing are prevalent. We can change that by talking more about dementia and taking time to talk to people with dementia.

“Dementia isn’t going away – two fifths of us know someone with dementia and two million people will be living with it by 2051.

“Too many people face a future alone with dementia and without adequate support.

“Dementia shouldn’t mean becoming a prisoner in your own home.”

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