Why Is It Important
Find out why we think it's important for us to start taking action now
to help our community for the future.
There are over 820,000 people living with dementia in the UK and estimated to be 670,000 family and friends currently acting as primary carers. Many people with dementia and their carer’s are still not living well with the condition, and quality of life remains extremelyvaried:
- 77% of people with dementia feel anxious or depressed
- 67% of people with dementia do not always feel a part of their community
- 44% of people with dementia feel they lost friends after being diagnosed
(Dementia Report 2012)
Understanding of dementia and how people are affected remains poor and a stigma attached with a diagnosis often causes people to withdraw from society and become isolated.
Why is it important?
Dementia is a progressive, terminal condition characterised by a widespread loss of mental function, severely impacting upon an individual’s ability to carry out previously simple daily activities. It can affect people of any age but is most common in older people. Estimates suggest that prevalence after the age of 65 doubles every five years.
However, dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing; the majority of older people will not develop dementia. Impacts include memory loss, language impairment, disorientation, change in personality, self-neglect and behaviour which is out of character.
This is often accompanied by increasing reliance on family carers who may in turn see their own wellbeing deteriorate. Feelings of isolation are also common amongst people with
Nationally, dementia is the main cause of mental health admissions to hospital amongst older people (Figure 1).
Many people with dementia also suffer from depression and anxiety, with as many as 63% of people with dementia reporting depression or anxiety (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013).
There are over 6,625 people registered with dementia in County Durham (2014/15)
1 in 6 people over the age of 65 in County Durham have Dementia.
County Durham’s population is ageing as a result of people living longer. The number of older people is increasing nationally and locally due to improvements in health and social care.
The number of older adults living with dementia is projected to increase over time. Projections suggest that the estimated 6,625 people affected in 2014/15 in County Durham could rise to 10,896 by 2030, an increase of almost 65%.