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How many people have dementia?

  • 55,000 people in Ireland are living with dementia
  • Half a million of us have had a family member with dementia
  • Each year over 4,000 people develop dementia
  • 11 people a day develop dementia. These people are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, neighbours and friends¬†¬†
  • The number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, to 113,000 in 2036

Who is at risk of dementia?

  • The majority of people with dementia are over 65
  • 1 in 10 people diagnosed with dementia in Ireland are under 65
  • Two thirds of people living with dementia in Ireland are women

Do I know anyone with dementia?

  • 1 in 2 people in Ireland know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia
  • But only 1 in 4 say they have a good understanding of dementia
  • Over 180,000 people in Ireland are currently or have been carers for a family member or partner with dementia. Many more provide support and care in other ways

What is dementia and how does it affect us?

  • Dementia is the word we use for a set of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. It is caused by brain diseases, and the resulting symptoms and change in function are called dementia. The parts of the brain affected are those used for learning, memory, decision-making and language.
  • Dementia can affect people in different ways, but common symptoms include memory loss, confusion with time or place, difficulty communicating, issues with problem solving and changes in behaviour.
  • Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Nine out of ten people over 65 do NOT have dementia.
  • Most cases of dementia are progressive. There is currently no cure but there are ways to help people with dementia and their families.

Fear of dementia

  • Fear and stigma surround dementia. People can feel awkward or embarrassed to talk to people they know with dementia, and this can lead to a lot of unnecessary loneliness.
  • Fear can also mean that people are slow to seek help, missing out on support and services. Support and services can help people to live well with dementia for many years, maintaining their dignity and a good quality of life.
  • Dementia is not simply a health issue but a social issue involving everyone from families and friends to the wider community and businesses.

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