Dementia sufferers fear being lonely this Christmas

LONELY: Dementia patients fear being alone this Christmas (Picture posed by model).
LONELY: Dementia patients fear being alone this Christmas (Picture posed by model).

TWO thirds of the 1,207 people affected by dementia in Hartlepool fear they will be left out this Christmas.

Seventy-one per cent of people affected by dementia in the town think a lack of understanding has caused them to be left out over the festive season, receiving fewer invites to occasions.

The findings have been revealed by the Alzheimer’s Society and reveals that:

l Half of those caring for somebody with dementia believe Christmas is an isolating time for people with the condition,

l Nearly two thirds, or 63 per cent of people with dementia have found that Christmas invitations have gone down since their diagnosis,

l 47 per cent feel that people did not have time to include those living with dementia at Christmas

l71 per cent of carers think that a lack of understanding causes people with dementia to be excluded at this time of year,

l Almost half, 47 per cent, of people with dementia admit that their biggest worry is how family and friends will react to unusual behaviour

Alzheimer’s Society services manager Julia Laverick believes greater dementia awareness is a key to tackling loneliness.

She said: “Christmas is usually a time when families, friends and communities get together but people affected by dementia across Teesside and County Durham can struggle to take part or get left out altogether.”

‘It can be particularly painful when invitations to social events dry up because friends and neighbours fear dementia and don’t know how to act.”

To find out more visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk