herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Dementia risk twice as high for women in Ireland

The number of women with dementia in Ireland is nearly double that of men, it has been revealed.

Latest figures reveal there are 30,359 women with the condition as opposed to 17,385 men.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s helpline had its busiest year on record in 2014 with a huge 20pc increase in calls.

The helpline, which is open six days a week, is the only dementia helpline in the country.

Analysis of the 2014 data shows the number of people with early stage dementia who contacted the helpline directly more than doubled last year.

The majority of people who have dementia are over 65. Of the 48,000 people living with dementia in this country, 4,000 are under that age point.

“As our ethos is to place the person with dementia at the centre of everything we do, we are encouraged to see more people with dementia contacting us directly as well as on behalf of their loved ones,” said helpline manager Samantha Taylor.

“The numbers of people diagnosed are expected to treble by 2041, so a national dementia helpline is a vital resource,” she explained.

“We would appeal to anyone who has concerns about dementia, either for themselves or for a loved one, to call our helpline and speak to one of our trained advisers today,” she added.

Research, published this week, deemed women bore the brunt of dementia both in terms of higher prevalence rates and by virtue of the fact that they are two-and-a-half times more likely to look after someone with the condition.

concerned

The helpline data also revealed more than 65pc of calls came from people concerned for a parent, while 17pc of calls were from people whose spouse or partner had dementia.

There was a 22pc increase in 2013 on the numbers of people concerned about their cognitive health, 60pc of whom were women and 40pc men.

More than 45pc of these callers revealed they yet to speak to a GP about their concerns.

The Alzheimer Society helpline is open six days a week on 1800 341341.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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