The poll by the Alzheimer’s Society also found 42% of people mistakenly believe there’s no benefit to visiting someone with dementia once they no longer recognise you
In a survey of 300 people affected by dementia carried out by the Alzheimer’s Society, 64 per cent of people living with the condition said they felt isolated from friends and family following a diagnosis.
Worryingly, nearly half of people polled who knew someone with dementia (42%) believed there to be no benefit in visiting their loved one once they stopped recognising you.
The society is keen to emphasise that this is not the case, and that even as the condition progresses and they cannot recognise friends and family, they still retain an ‘emotional memory’, which means they’ll continue to feel happy long after a visit, even if they’ve forgotten the specific experience.
The survey found that over half of people with the condition (54%) were no longer taking part in any or hardly any social activities, but 51 per cent said that having someone to help them take part in activities and hobbies would help them to stay connected.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘After spending time with friends and family over the festive period, New Year can be a bleak and lonely time for people with dementia and their carers. It’s so important for people with dementia to feel connected throughout the year. Spending time with loved one and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don’t remember the event itself.’
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