LETTER: Dementia statistics are wrong

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Re the business profile advertorial on page 11 of the Chad (9th July 2014) - (‘One in three over-65s suffer from dementia’)

The statement that one in three people over 65 suffer from dementia is untrue and could cause unnecessary worry.

The proportion of people affected is far less. This is not to downplay the importance of dementia and the great impact it has on sufferers and those who look after them.

The actual statistics are as follows: dementia affects one in a hundred people between the ages of 65 and 69, and one in twenty-five people between the ages of 69 and 79.

Over the age of 80, dementia affects one in six people.

Although we all worry about occasional memory lapses, especially as we get older, dementia is not about memory alone.

It is a collection of difficulties which also includes a deterioration in our ability to do things and to plan and manage our affairs.

The onset is often very gradual and medication helps many people who have the commonest type of dementia, which is Alzheimer’s Disease.

The majority of people with dementia continue to live in their own homes, and manage with the help of family and other carers.

As a society, we can help by becoming more aware of dementia and the difficulties it presents. The Alzheimer’s Society website contains a great deal of valuable information about all types of dementia, as well as information about local resources, including memory cafes and ‘Singing for the Brain’.

Anyone who wants to know more about dementia can sign up for a short course and become a Dementia Friend.

Dr Elizabeth Barrett

Shires Health Care

18 Main Street


What has been your family’s experience of dementia?

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