A report launched on 19 March 2014 has highlighted that one in three people diagnosed with dementia are left feeling isolated, lonely and segregated from life. The current attitude towards dementia sufferers as ‘people to be feared’ needs to change, say charities.
The report by Red and Yellow Care (a dementia care organisation) and the Alzheimer’s Society says more support is needed to allow sufferers more enjoyment in their lives. Social services and leisure providers should be more accessible for those with dementia, and should allow people the freedom to enjoy activities that make them happy.
The report states: ‘The single biggest barrier to achieving a good life with dementia is the acceptance and understanding of dementia in the wider community. To overcome the loneliness, alienation and segregation currently felt by many people, it is imperative that we accept dementia as ‘a new normal’ – just one of the many challenges faced by people across all walks of life.’
With one in three people developing dementia and the number of those diagnosed predicted to double over the next 20 years, creating ‘dementia-friendly communities’ is vital. Already more than 40 communities have signed up for the scheme in a bid to change local services and make them more accessible and welcoming for those with dementia.
With further training and awareness of the condition, communities will be better able to support those with dementia, allowing them more freedom to enjoy life.