62% of people in the South East think a dementia diagnosis would mean their life is over
Over half (55%) of people in the South East are putting off seeking a dementia diagnosis for up to a year or more* a study carried out by Alzheimer’s Society has found. Dementia is the most feared health condition in the UK**, perhaps explaining also why almost two-thirds (62%) of people in the South East surveyed felt a diagnosis would mean their life was over***.

The study launches during Dementia Awareness Week, 15-21 May, as Alzheimer’s Society calls on people to confront dementia head on, be aware that they can do something about it and come to the charity for help and support.

225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia this year – that’s one person every three minutes. Unfortunately, a lack of diagnosis is denying many of these people the chance of getting the best possible treatment, information and support. Evidence shows the earlier you receive these, the better your chance of living well for longer. It also means that thousands of people are not being enabled to plan for the future while they still have capacity to make important decisions.

The YouGov research also reveals that there are still many myths that exist about dementia, which might put people off seeking a diagnosis – almost half of people in the South East (48%) thought they would have to immediately stop driving a car.***.

Other common myths revealed in the research include that over 1 in 3 people in REGION (38%) say they would put off seeking medical attention from a GP about memory problems because they think dementia is just “a part of the ageing process”.

This Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society is tackling the many myths and misunderstandings about dementia, to show people that life doesn’t end when dementia begins, support is out there and it is possible to live life well beyond a dementia diagnosis.

Chris Wyatt, Alzheimer’s Society Regional Operations Manager for the South East, said:

“Too many people are in the dark about dementia – many feel that a dementia diagnosis means someone is immediately incapable of living a normal life, while myths and misunderstandings continue to contribute to the stigma and isolation that many people will feel. This Dementia Awareness Week, we want to reassure people that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.

“We know that dementia is the most feared health condition of our time and there’s no question that it can have a profound and devastating impact on people, their family and friends – but getting a timely diagnosis will enable people with dementia to live as well as possible.

“We want everyone to know that Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by the condition and there are lots of ways we can help you. It’s time for everyone to confront dementia head on.”

Alzheimer’s Society provides a range of services to support people affected by dementia. Alzheimer’s Society is available for anyone affected by dementia and there are lots of ways the charity can help you. Call its National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW

Whether it’s attending a Dementia Friends session to join the biggest ever social action movement to change perceptions of dementia, afternoon tea at your local Dementia Café, visiting a local pop-up providing information or going to a seminar on living well with dementia, there are plenty of ways you can get involved this Dementia Awareness Week. To find your nearest event or for more information visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW