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Cornwall's Dementia Misery

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4:43pm 10th September 2014

Revealed: the Cornish dementia patients who do not have the right support to get dressed, eat or go to the loo.

Pirate FM has learnt more than 9000 locals have the condition.

Now a report has warned that across the UK, almost half of sufferers are not living well.

More than two thirds have said they felt depressed.

Shirley Mewton from the Alzheimers' Society in the Duchy said: "Everyone needs a friend and I think it's very important that you go and reassure them, make sure that people are still valued, that their feelings matter and that they've got a sort of freedom from this outside stress.

"What we want to do is have people get a diagnosis at a very early opportunity. This is crucial to patients, their carers and their families and it then enables them to communicate what they want in their life and plan the way forward."

Alzheimer's Society is now urging government to end the artificial divide between health and social care which disadvantages people with dementia and to commit to a successor to the Prime Minister's Challenge on dementia which is due to end next May.

Dementia UK: The Second Edition, produced by London School of Economics and King's College London for the charity provides the most comprehensive review of dementia in the UK to date. It reveals that there are now 84,413 people living with dementia in South West and that there will be 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK by 2015, costing the UK £26 billion a year.

Despite these huge costs - two-thirds of which is shouldered by people with dementia, their carers and families - tens of thousands of people with dementia are still living without the right support to do everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating and going to the toilet.

As well as Dementia UK, Alzheimer's Society has today also published Dementia 2014: An Opportunity for Change which provides a snapshot of how well people with dementia are living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It draws together evidence from a survey of over 1,000 people with dementia and their carers and more than 2,000 members of the public.

Key findings from the report include:

"    Just over half of people with dementia (58 per cent), reported to be living well
"    Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) said they had felt anxious or depressed recently
"    7 out of 10 people were living with another medical condition or disability as well as dementia
"    Of those looked after by a carer, 43 per cent said their carer received no help with their caring role

Debbie Donnison, Regional Operations Manager for Alzheimer's Society said: "With over 84,400 people living with dementia in the South West and many more friends and family affected by the condition, it is vital the government takes action.

"We know that parts of the South West are leading the way as some of the best performing areas for support after diagnosis. However, despite good progress, today's research highlights the huge financial and human impact dementia is having.

"In the UK one person develops dementia every three minutes. We must do more to ensure that everyone living with dementia gets the care and support they need.'

Tony Hall, who cares for his wife who has dementia said: "Being given a diagnosis at the earliest opportunity is crucial to patients with Dementia, their carer and families - It enables them all to communicate and plan their way forward together, but it's more than that, we all need to be dementia aware, especially in light of these new figures."

4:43pm 10th September 2014

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