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Care UK launches The Big Dementia Conversation

Company news

Eight in 10 adults believe dementia is still misunderstood, according to research. 

A poll of 2,000 Brits found despite it being an increasingly common condition, misconceptions remain because of a lack of knowledge about the condition, or because people feel there is a certain embarrassment around it.

While 69% believe it's a subject which is not talked about enough in society,

it emerged 73% put this down to a lack of knowledge - with only 48% being aware it can cause affect a person’s personality and more (73 per cent) associating it with memory loss. 

60% of respondents said they weren’t aware those living with dementia could appear to develop a lack of social awareness, while a further 89% admitted they didn't know it can also affect dietary preferences. 

The survey also found that less than a quarter of Brits would be comfortable talking about certain dementia symptoms, such as people making changes that go against their lifelong beliefs (23 per cent), loss of inhibitions (23 per cent) or expressing sexual interest more openly (15 per cent). 

The research was commissioned by one of the UK’s leading care providers, Care UK, which have launched ‘The Big Dementia Conversation’ in a bid to encourage people to have more conversations about dementia. As part of the initiative, over 100 Care UK homes across the UK will be hosting free, public events to help their local communities understand more about living well with the condition and offer a safe space to talk. 

Introducing the Big Dementia Conversation

Suzanne Mumford, Head of Nursing, Care and Dementia for Care UK, said: “While much has been done in the way of raising awareness of dementia, there are still a lot of things people don’t know or aren’t comfortable talking about – especially when it comes to how a person behaves, which is often linked to a change in perception. 

“Many families expect their loved ones to be a bit different once the condition starts progressing, but very few are prepared for some of the more unusual personality changes. 

"For example, it’s not uncommon for people’s tastes and preferences to change."

The biggest misconception Brits feel about dementia is that it only affects people in their 60s or above, selected by 36 per cent of respondents.

Only one in 10 respondents, however, claim to be very familiar with the signs someone may be experiencing dementia.

When it comes to learning more about the disease, 57 per cent want to know more about the available support and care.

Exactly half (50 per cent) would be interested to learn more about the timeframes of the illness, and how long it takes to fully develop.

The research also found 31 per cent would be more willing to talk about their finances than potential dementia, according to the figures.

Around a quarter (24 per cent) would prefer to discuss their general mental health, and 23 per cent would rather chat about relationship issues.

And while 61 per cent think conversations around mental health have become more mainstream in recent years, only 21 per cent feel the same about dementia.

Suzanne Mumford added: “Dementia affects millions of lives, not just those diagnosed but also their families and friends. That’s why at Care UK, we believe supporting families and carers is just as essential as supporting the person living with dementia. 

“By talking openly about it, we reduce stigma and create a supportive community.

"Supporting people with dementia requires a societal challenge; not just for older people, but for everyone. We need to start the conversation and talk about it openly, to take action to build a more compassionate and inclusive world for all. We’d like to encourage people across the country to visit their nearest care home or attend one of our events to find out more about the condition."

To visit Care UK’s advice hub, featuring stories from families and advice from experts, or to find your nearest event, visit 

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