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Social stigma for people with Alzheimer's
Posted by on September 27, 2012

Social stigma is a major issue for people suffering Alzheimer’s, with 40 percent saying they had been avoided or treated differently by others because of the condition, according to a new international study.

The World Alzheimer Report, released by Alzheimer’s Disease International to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21, also found nearly one in four people with dementia hide or conceal their diagnosis, citing stigma as the main reason.

Three quarters of people with dementia, and 64 percent of family carers, believed there was a lack of understanding of dementia in their countries.

“Stigma remains a barrier to making progress in all other dementia initiatives, such as improving care and support for people with dementia and family carers and funding for research,” said report author Nicole Batsch.

“The report reveals that people with dementia and carers feel marginalised by society, sometimes by their own friends and family members.

“What they want is to be treated like normal people with a focus on their abilities and not on their impairments. Bringing light to these issues will help improve the quality of life for people with dementia and for their carers.”

The report was based on a global survey of 2500 people, either with dementia or caring for a family member with the condition, in 50 countries.

According to estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is currently one new case of dementia every four seconds.

The release of the report coincides with Dementia Awareness Week from September 21 to 28.

There were 24,000 Western Australians suffering from dementia last year, according to Alzheimer’s Australia WA, and that number was expected to increase to 36,500 by 2020, and 69,000 by 2050.

The Alzheimer World Report and other information is available at http://www.alz.co.uk/

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