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10th April 2013

One in six dementia sufferers feel lonely and isolated, report reveals

More than 60% of people who have Alzheimer's say they feel anxious or depressed and just over a third say they've lost friends since being diagnosed with the disease, according to a new report published by the Alzheimer's Society on April 9.

The report, Dementia 2013: The hidden voice of loneliness, looked at how well people with dementia are living - and found that those who live alone are particularly likely to feel isolated. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of those in the UK with diagnosed Alzheimer's (currently 250,000 according to the Society's figures) say they feel lonely.

Other key findings of the report about people with dementia include:

  • 70 per cent say they have stopped doing things they used to because of a lack of confidence
  • 63 per cent say they feel anxious or depressed
  • 35 per cent say they've lost friends since their diagnosis
  • 21 per cent rely on family and friends for social contact but talk to them less than once a month on the phone

Reaction to the report in Wales

According to the charity there are more than 17,000 diagnosed with the disease in Wales - an increase of 800 since last year.

Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer's Society Wales, said: "We need to put a stop to this epidemic of loneliness, not only to improve quality of life but also to save thousands from reaching crisis point and being admitted to hospital unnecessarily or care homes early."

She added: "It's time for us all to play a part in helping people with dementia live well with the condition."

A Welsh Government spokesperson responded to the report saying: "The Commissioner for Older People in Wales has established a new five-year Ageing Well in Wales programme. One of the four areas that the programme is initially looking at is creating dementia-friendly and supportive communities - five sites in Wasles have already committed to action."

Find out more about dementia and loneliness

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