About Dementia

If you, or a friend or relative, have been diagnosed with dementia, you may be feeling anxious or confused.  You may not know what dementia is.

The term ‘dementia’ is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions.  These include Alzheimer’s Disease and sometimes can be as the result of a stroke.

Dementia is progressive, which means that the symptoms will gradually get worse.  How fast dementia progresses will depend on the individual.  Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way.

Symptoms of dementia include:

  • loss of memory:  for example, forgetting the way home from the shops or being unable to remember names and places, or what happened earlier the same day
  • mood changes:  particularly as parts of the brain that control emotion are affected by disease.  People with dementia may also feel sad, frightened or angry about what is happening to them
  • communication problems:  a decline in the ability to talk, read and write

In the later stages of dementia, the person affected will have problems carrying out everyday tasks and will become increasingly dependent on other people.

Key Statistics

Prevalence and Demography

  • There will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK by 2015 with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051 if no action is taken (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • 1 in 14 people over 65 have dementia (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • 1 in 6 people aged 80 and over have dementia (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • There are over 40,000 people with dementia under 65 in the UK (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • There are 25,000 people with dementia who are from black and minority ethnic groups (APPG, 2013)

Costs in UK

  • Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is equivalent to more than £30,000 per person with dementia (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • People with dementia, their carers and families shoulder two-thirds of the cost themselves at £17.3 billion (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • Unpaid carers save the UK economy over £11 billion a year (Dementia UK: second edition, 2014)
  • 37% of people don’t know that they may have to pay for their own social care costs (Dementia 2014)

For further information about dementia, together with a comprehensive set of factsheets, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk

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  • If you are worried, either about your own or someone else's memory, Alzheimer's Society has a booklet that can help you understand more about memory loss.

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Dementia Somerset is funded by:

NHS Somerset

Somerset County Council

DementiaSomerset is supported by
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