Loneliness prevalent for those with dementia as friends fall away

The isolation facing people living with dementia and their carers has been highlighted in a new survey that shows they are almost twice as likely to have high rates of loneliness.

The isolation facing people living with dementia and their carers has been highlighted in a new survey that shows they are almost twice as likely to have high rates of loneliness.

The research by Alzheimer’s Australia has been released to coincide with Dementia Awareness Month 2016, which runs throughout September.

There are more than 353,000 Australians with dementia and an estimated 1.2 million people involved in the care of someone with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic acting CEO Leanne Wenig said the results of the survey highlighted the distress that impacts people living with dementia and their families and carers.

“This research backs up what we are told repeatedly by our clients, which is that when they received a diagnosis of dementia, friendships and some family relationships suddenly fell away,” Ms Wenig said.

“We believe a large part of that is because of the general lack of awareness and understanding of dementia; people simply don’t know how to interact with their friend or loved one with dementia.”

More than 1,500 people took part in the survey, including people with dementia, carers and members of the public.

The survey found that people with dementia reported significantly fewer relationships than carers, who in turn had significantly fewer relationships than the public. This was mainly due to friendships dwindling, often leading to social isolation.

People with dementia were more than twice as likely not to see any friends, more than three times as likely not to have a confidant and almost three times as likely not to have a friend to call on for help.

“These results really are concerning and they speak to the loneliness that is so prevalent when it comes to dementia,” Ms Wenig said.

This year’s Dementia Awareness Month theme is You Are Not Alone and people with dementia and carers are being encouraged to reach out for support by calling the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visiting the Alzheimer’s Australia website.

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Tags: alzheimers-australia, alzheimers-australia-vic, dementia, isolation, Leanne Wenig, loneliness, outreach,

2 thoughts on “Loneliness prevalent for those with dementia as friends fall away

  1. ….a very good article, and so true too…..I live with this horrible disease and I have seen and am experiencing the same……….Tony Hogben, Bribie Island, Queensland…

  2. It’s very sad that we, as a society, abandon our friends and their spouses/carers when they have dementia. People don’t know how to relate to a friend with dementia, yet it’s not difficult to attend a free Daughterly Care 2-hour course about how to remain a good friend or read a free Alzheimer’s booklet like “Friends Matter”.

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