Are you worried about dementia?

May 22, 2012, 10:23 AM GMT+0

Poll: 63% UK adults worried about the condition, as Dementia Awareness Week continues

Nearly two thirds of UK adults are worried about dementia, according to our poll commissioned jointly by Alzheimer’s Society and Saga Homecare, published this week to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week™.

  • 63% of UK adults say they are worried about dementia in some way (while 24% said they weren't worried)
  • 61% are worried about either themselves or someone they know developing dementia in later life
  • Yet despite their fears, and only 21% thinking they have a good knowledge of dementia their fears, less than a fifth (16%) of people want to know more about the condition
  • Although 18-24 year olds are the most keen to learn more (25%) in comparison to only 15% of people aged 55 or over
  • Only 18% of people realise dementia is a terminal illness
  • And just 6% of people have a plan in place if a family member were to develop dementia (this includes only 7 per cent of people aged 55 and over)

The poll, which questioned 4,276 UK adults over 18, found that those aged 55 or over are the most worried (66%) but dementia is even worrying over half of younger people aged 18 to 24 (61%).

Women are much more concerned about dementia than men, with 70% worrying about the condition in some way, in comparison to 56% of men.

Separate Alzheimer’s Society research shows that of the 800,000 people in the UK who have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease.

'Biggest challenge today'

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, commented on the YouGov poll, saying that "dementia is the biggest challenge facing the UK today so it’s not surprising that people are so worried. There is currently no cure and people aren’t getting the care they deserve. However we know that with the right support people can live well with the condition for a number of years.

"This Dementia Awareness Week™ we need to stop worrying and start understanding dementia. Whether you have five minutes or half an hour, please take some time to learn about dementia. Only through knowing more will we ensure that the people with the condition are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve."

John Ivers, Chief Executive of Saga Homecare, which provides care at home for people who want to maintain their independence, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Alzheimer’s Society in raising awareness of dementia. Saga Homecare has extensive experience of providing ongoing support to people with this condition and we are harnessing our resources to help Alzheimer’s Society make an impact with this worthwhile campaign."

This Dementia Awareness Week™ Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people to ‘remember the person’ by looking beyond someone’s diagnosis and engaging with them. The charity is also trying to educate people about Alzheimer's as a whole, such as explaining that dementia is not a natural part of ageing, and that it’s possible to live well with the condition.

See the survey details and full results here

The Alzheimer's Society

Saga Homecare