Kate Ferguson, PAA
Women have been hardest hit by the dementia epidemic sweeping Britain, researchers say.
The illness is not only the leading cause of death among British women but they are also far more likely to end up as carers of those with dementia, Alzheimer’s Research UK has found.
The charity warns women are suffering physical and emotional stress and having to give up their jobs as a result.
Hilary Evans, director of external affairs at the charity, said on Sunday: ‘Dementia has a devastating impact on all those whose lives it touches, but it’s a “triple whammy” for women – more women are dying of dementia, more women are having to bear the burden of care and more women working in dementia research are leaving science.
‘The experiences of these women underline the urgent need to tackle the diseases that cause this life-shattering condition.’
In recent decades increased investment in areas like cancer have had a real impact, something which needs to be emulated in terms of success for dementia, Evans said.
‘Only through research can we find ways to treat and prevent dementia, and transform the lives of the hundreds of thousands affected.’
The report, which will be published next month at the Women of the World Festival, highlights the huge toll of dementia on women in the UK.
It found more than 500,000 are now affected by it, whereas about 350,000 men have the condition.
Women over 60 are now twice as likely to get dementia as breast cancer.
And women are more than two-and-a-half times more likely than men to provide intensive, 24-hour care for people with the illness.