Statistics show increase in people dying from dementia

05 June 2020

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that aside from COVID-19 related dementia deaths, the ‘unexplained excess’ deaths from dementia were 83% higher in England in April, and 54% higher in Wales, with nearly 10,000 deaths in total.

Dr Samantha Benham-Hermetz, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:
“In the midst of this pandemic, we cannot afford to ignore the devastating impact dementia is continuing to have across our society – with these ONS figures revealing a shocking increase in the number of people dying from dementia.

“Every day it’s becoming clearer that those living with the condition are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Not only are people with dementia vulnerable to the virus itself, but the circumstances of social distancing are exacerbating existing challenging dementia symptoms and compounding the impact of the condition. People may also be delaying seeking medical help, through fear of COVID-19.

“We don’t yet understand why people with dementia, without COVID-19 are also dying in greater numbers than during normal times. We know that social isolation, losing their routine and companionship from loved ones can be very difficult for people with dementia. We also need to understand the impact of changing staffing levels and access to appropriate medical care in care homes at this time.

“As a matter of priority, government must protect people with dementia and more research is needed to understand why people with dementia are so badly affected by COVID-19, so that the right measures can be put in place to prevent further deaths.”