There appeared to be a general acceptance that once a person is diagnosis with dementia they are viewed negatively in society.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Around one half of respondents agreed as soon as someone is diagnosed with dementia, they are not treated like a thinking human being anymore.
Forty-six percent of the 1,200 adults interviewed in this survey said they knew someone with dementia. This number is thought to be higher now.
The public, most often, describes persons living with dementia as confused (90 percent), and frightened (62 percent).
As I reread the results of this study, I had two reactions.
I believe society has come a long way in the last ten years to better understand dementia. I also believe we have a long way to go.
How would you respond to this statement from the survey,
"for people with really bad dementia, I don't think life is worth living".
Knowledge of Dementia
It is not surprising that nearly one half of respondents said that they knew someone with dementia.
This varied by age, with just under one quarter of those aged 18-24 knowing someone with dementia, compared with one half of those aged 65 years or over.
The figures shown in Table 1 indicate that the public has a wide range of understanding of what dementia is.
When asked to identify which words they would use to describe the way that someone who has had dementia respondents answered:
- confused (90%)
- lost (58%)
- and unpredictable (52%).
Living with Dementia
The reality of how society thinks about, and cares for people with dementia was explored in the survey.
There was wide support among respondents (83%) for the idea that ‘there comes a time when all you can do for someone with dementia is to keep them clean, healthy and safe’.
However, there was less agreement about where a person with dementia should live. Around one third of respondents thought that it is better for a person with dementia – and their families – if they were cared for in a nursing home or residential unit.
Similar proportions disagreed with this statement, or said that they neither agreed nor disagreed. Of course, the particular stage or type of dementia may influence respondents’ attitudes to
this particular statement.
How to Get Answers To Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia
Maria McManus, director of the Northern Ireland office of the Dementia Services Development Centre and a co-author of the report, said: "The views reflected by the survey confirm much of what needs to be challenged about attitudes, care and services for people with dementia and the need to address this in public policies and research, as well as in practice through the provision of services."
Source: Dementia: public knowledge and attitudes
What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests)
Communicating in Alzheimer's World
Alzheimer's, Your Brain, and Adaptability
The Seven Stages of Alzheimer's
Learn what others are saying about the Alzheimer's Reading Room
"The Alzheimer’s Reading Room is what it claims to be – and more.
This comprehensive site is run by full-time caregiver and gifted advocate Bob DeMarco.
Filled with wonderful contributions from a variety of talented writers, this site offers everything you need to know about the challenge of caregiving, learning about your loved one’s condition, and taking care of yourself as well.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of everyone at the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, you have a go-to place for advice, education, and an occasional laugh. Stop by, and start feeling empowered to handle life as a caregiver."