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Two-thirds 'worried about dementia'

Nearly two-thirds of people are worried about developing dementia, a poll has found.

The survey, released to mark Dementia Awareness Week, found that 63% of people are worried about dementia in some way - with 61% concerned about themselves or someone they know developing the condition in later life.

But just 16% want to know more about the condition, with 18 to 24-year-olds the most keen to learn more (25%) in comparison with 15% of over-55s.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society and Saga Homecare, found those aged 55 or over are the most worried (66%), but dementia is worrying 61% of 18 to 24-year-olds. It also found women are more concerned about dementia than men - 70% compared with 56%.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Dementia is the biggest challenge facing the UK today, so it's not surprising that people are so worried. There is currently no cure and people aren't getting the care they deserve. However we know that with the right support people can live well with the condition for a number of years."

He urged people to start understanding dementia during the awareness week, which is being held in partnership with Saga Homecare, which provides care for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes.

"Whether you have five minutes or half an hour, please take some time to learn about dementia. Only through knowing more will we ensure the people with the condition are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve," Mr Hughes added.

The YouGov poll surveyed 4,276 adults online between April 13 and 16. It found 24% of people said they are not worried about dementia at all, 23% believe dementia is a result of old age and 19% of people believe there is nothing you can do to reduce your risk. Just 18% of people realise dementia is a terminal illness, the poll found, and 21% think they have a good knowledge of dementia.

John Ivers, chief executive of Saga Homecare, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Alzheimer's Society in raising awareness of dementia. Saga Homecare has extensive experience of providing ongoing support to people with this condition and we are harnessing our resources to help Alzheimer's Society make an impact with this worthwhile campaign."

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: "Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. The Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge sets out our plans to go further and faster in bringing real improvements to the care and support for people with dementia and their carers, making the UK a world leader."

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