Thousands of dementia sufferers feel 'trapped in their homes'
A new survey by the Alzheimer’s Society has found that one in three people with dementia only leave their homes once a week, and one in ten only go out once a month. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, this means that up to 180,000 people feel ‘trapped in their own homes’.
The survey, called Building Dementia-Friendly Communities, found that 44% of people with dementia feel like a burden, which prevents them from getting involved in their community. The Alzheimer’s Society wants to see more ‘dementia-friendly’ communities, where sufferers are understood and respected, so that they feel comfortable joining in with local events. This can be achieved through 10 key areas, which include accessible transport services, easier-to-read signage and changing the attitude of people in the community and local businesses about the stigma attached to dementia.
One key factor raised by the survey is the importance of helping affected people to stay independent for as long as possible and for them to experience a better overall quality of life. Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, says: “It's shocking and saddening that so many people with dementia feel trapped and cut off from everyday local life. It's encouraging to see some communities have started on their journey of change, but it needs to be a priority for everyone to act now. It's vital we empower people with dementia and their carers.”
For people with dementia and their families, there are a number of ways to remain independent. Knowing the importance of eating right and staying fit and healthy is a good place to start. It’s also important to get out of the house to avoid feeling ‘trapped’ at home, which might mean researching community transport solutions, for example. Hiring a paid carer to help around the house, with personal care tasks or simply for company, can help to ensure that needs are met.