There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK with a further estimate of 670,000 family and friends currently acting as primary carers. Many people with dementia, and their carers, are still not living well with the condition, and quality of life remains extremely varied – for example:
53% of people with dementia feel anxious or depressed
49% of people with dementia do not always feel a part of their community
More than 40% of people with dementia feel they lost friends after being diagnosed
(Dementia Report 2015)
The understanding of dementia and how people are affected remains poor and a stigma attached with a diagnosis often causes people to withdraw from society and become isolated.
More recent reports by the Alzheimer’s Society (2014 and 2015) produced additional key findings as follows:
The total age-standardised 65+ population prevalence of dementia is 7.1% (based on 2013 population data).
This equals one in every 79 (1.3%) of the entire UK population, and 1 in every 14 of the population aged 65 years and over.
Compared to the 2007 estimates, the current prevalence consensus estimates are slightly higher for the youngest (65–69) and oldest (90+) age bands and slightly lower for the intermediate age groups (80–89).
The total number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051 if age-specific prevalence remains stable, and increases are only driven by demographic ageing. However recent analysis of this prediction has been qualified to the extent that the growth may not be a severe due to healthier lifestyles and other influences.
There are over 40,000 people with early-onset dementia (under the age of 65 years) in the UK.
The total cost of dementia to society in the UK is £26.3 billion, with an average cost of £32,250 per person. Alarmingly, £11.6bn of this figure is calculated as representing unpaid care.
The chance of developing dementia increases significantly with age. One in 14 people over 65 years old, and one in six people over 80 years old, has dementia. It is more common amongst women than men. However, more significantly, 17,000 younger people (under the age of 65) in the UK have dementia, which is called early onset or young-onset dementia.
In terms of care, nearly 66% of people with dementia continue to live in their own homes with the remainder in care homes. Around 70% of care home residents have dementia.