Alzheimer’s Society said the impact for people living with dementia in rural areas was often greater due to geographical, financial and transportation constraints.
Two thirds of people suffering with dementia are based in rural areas.
This was according to the Alzheimer’s Society which this week launched its first ever dementia friendly guide for rural communities ahead of Dementia Action Week (May 21 – 27).
It details how the double jeopardy of living in a rural community and having dementia meant many people often felt ‘excluded and disempowered’, unable to access support, guidance and basic elements of community life.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said the impact was often added to by geographical, financial and transportation constraints.
“We hear too often about how people with dementia in rural areas are denied their right to live a life they want, instead facing extreme isolation,” Mr Hughes said.
“People often feel unable to participate in community life as their dementia progresses, due to lack of understanding, stigma and poor access to services and support.
“We need to see all of society, including the most remote and rural areas, uniting now and committing to the steps outlined in this guide so that no one has to face dementia alone.”
It comes just over four years after the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs launched its Rural Plus campaign to raise awareness of rural isolation, dementia and mental health within rural communities.
The guide hopes to encourage ‘the many ways’ people in rural communities can better support each other and create a dementia-friendly community.