“It is little wonder that dementia is the condition that more than four in five of us most fear. Not only is it synonymous with losing our independence, but it is also the condition that we hear most about from friends or family. Almost half of us have experience of a loved one living with the daily challenges that living with dementia can bring and a further one in five know somebody outside of the family who is.
“In fact, when talking about a loved one, 84% feared their partner developing the condition, higher than cancer at 82%.
“Today’s figures from the Alzheimer's Society clearly show that not only is the scale of people living with the condition vastly underestimated - it also explains why people are so fearful of the condition. Despite the sheer number of people living with dementia their report shows that people’s expectations of the care they would receive in a residential care setting is disappointingly low. This increases the pressure on families and loved ones at what is already a very emotional time.
“During his early days as health minister, Norman Lamb stated that he intended to make improvements to the care of dementia patients a top priority – but without firstly clearly identifying who they are this is simply not possible. Today’s report has highlighted that whilst the Governments work to date is being well received, there is much more to be done to improve the lives of those living with dementia, but also to change the perceptions of society as a whole of the care we or our loved may receive.”
Saga Populus interviewed 9,049 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 28th and 5th September 2012.
- Nearly half (48%) of all respondents personally knew someone who suffered from dementia. The older the respondent, the more likely they were to know someone with dementia, rising from 43% of 50-54 year olds to 53% of those aged 75 and above. A fifth (19%) of respondents did not personally know someone suffering from the illness but had third hand knowledge of someone who did.
Cancer and Dementia were the most feared illnesses; four fifths of all respondents cited Cancer (80%) as the illness they were most fearful of developing and the same number cited Dementia (80%). Although the fear of Dementia increased by age-group (81% of those aged 75 and above are most fearful of developing Dementia compared to 72% of 50-54 year olds), the fear of developing Cancer remained the same across all ages.
- Respondents were less concerned about developing high blood pressure; only 5% of respondents said it was the illness they were most fearful of developing.
Dementia is the illness respondents were most fearful of their partner, close friend or relative developing (84%); Cancer the second (82%); and a stroke third (70%).