New figures just released by the Alzheimer’s Society have revealed that 806 people are currently living with dementia in Ballymena.
And, according to the charity’s latest report, many of those people are not living well.
Alzheimer’s Society is urging the Department of Health, Social Service and Public Safety (DHSSPS) to take full advantage of our integrated health and social care system to ensure that people with dementia receive the care and support they need from diagnosis to end of life.
They are also urging the prioritisation of the implementation of Integrated Care Partnerships - a critical component of Transforming Your Care.
“Dementia UK: The Second Edition”, produced by the London School of Economics and King’s College London for the charity, provides the most comprehensive review of dementia in the UK to date.
It’s findings reveal that there are now 19,765 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland and that there will be 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK by 2015, costing the UK £26 billion a year.
Despite these huge costs – two-thirds of which is shouldered by people with dementia, their carers and families – tens of thousands of people with dementia are still living without the right support to do everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating and going to the toilet, according to the charity.
As well as Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society has also published Dementia 2014: An Opportunity for Change which provides a snapshot of how well people with dementia are living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It draws together evidence from a survey of over 1,000 people with dementia and their carers and more than 2,000 members of the public.
Tommy Foster (71) from Ahoghill, who was diagnosed six years ago with Vascular Dementia, said: “I found the most significant change to my life since I developed dementia is I tend to forget a lot of things. I rely on my wife and family to keep me informed of everything and they are a great support to me.
“I think for people with dementia it is harder to trust strangers coming in to care for you and I prefer most of my care and support to come from my family, so it is important that my family is given the support to care for me rather than bringing in a stranger.
“The government need to make sure that people with dementia still have our own independence and can continue to live at home, in our communities, for as long as possible.”