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Dementia patients the loneliest in Aust

AAP logoAAP 31/08/2016 Sarah Wiedersehn

People with dementia are almost twice as likely to suffer feelings of loneliness, a survey has found.

An Alzheimer's Australia survey of more than 1500 people with the brain disease found they were also more than three times more likely to lack confidence and not have a friend to call on for help.

They also reported having significantly fewer relationships.

The research has sparked calls for greater awareness and understanding of dementia by the general public so people living with the condition feel less isolated and alone.

Alzheimer's Australia NSW CEO John Watkins says the survey results are "sadly" not surprising but concerning.

He wants to see people with dementia treated with more respect, and kindness.

"They are still the same person - your parent, sibling, partner, relative, friend - as they were before the diagnosis. They just may need a little bit more time, understanding and support," he said.

He said people with dementia deserve respect and dignity and shouldn't be forgotten.

"A diagnosis of dementia does not define a person. They are still the same person they have always been, and must be valued and treated as such."

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