The Alzheimer’s Australia report shows high levels of stigma and social isolation for people with dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Australia report shows high levels of stigma and social isolation for people with dementia. Patrick Gorbunovs

Dementia patients feel isolated after diagnosis

MORE THAN half of Australia's dementia sufferers surveyed about their challenges believe family and friends avoid spending time with them after being diagnosed.

The key finding from the first major national survey on living with dementia, to be released in Canberra on Tuesday, reveal high levels of stigma and social isolation related to the condition.

Among the results of the survey were that nearly half of those suffering from dementia also had difficulty communicating with staff in retail stores.

In releasing the Alzheimer's Australia report, president Graeme Samuel will reveal how difficult it was for his own family in dealing with his mother's dementia, and how she struggled to maintain life-long friendships after diagnosis.

And as Australia's population ages in coming decades, the disease, which currently affects about 320,000 Australia, is expected to be diagnosed in about half a million Australians by 2030.

"Knowing that more than half of the participants surveyed felt that people avoided spending time with them because of their diagnosis is disheartening, and further justifies our campaign to build a dementia-friendly nation," Mr Samuel said.

The survey, and a parliamentary friends of dementia group convened by AA, is urging further resources be put towards helping people deal with dementia and its effects.

For more information, go to: http://www.dementiafriendly.org.au

- APN NEWSDESK



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