01/03/2010

Third 'Avoid' Dementia Sufferers

One in three people are uncomfortable around dementia sufferers, according to new research.

The figures released today, coincide with the Government's new dementia awareness campaign, aimed at educating people about the condition, and suggesting simple things that can help those living with the illness.

A MORI poll found 32% of those surveyed 'would find it difficult to spend much time with someone who has dementia', while more than half said they do not know enough about the illness to help someone who has it.

However, 81% agreed that some people with dementia can still take part in normal activities.

Care Minister Phil Hope said avoiding people with the condition can make them feel isolated and stigmatised.

"We want to start to break down this stigma and show the simple things you can do to help people live well with dementia."

The 'Living Well' campaign will appear on TV, radio, online and in print across England.

Ruth Sutherland, Acting Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: "People with dementia tell us that, once diagnosed, others begin to act differently or avoid them altogether.

"This has a huge impact on their lives, but we know that with the right support people can continue to enjoy a good quality of life."

National Clinical Director for Dementia, Prof Alistair Burns said: "Despite the fact that most people will be touched by dementia at some point in their lives, understanding of the condition, and how it is managed, is poor.

"We want to start to increase understanding, break down stigma and show some simple things you can do to help people live well."

(PR/BMcC)

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