Dementia in rural Wales: Our new report

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones at Alzheimer's Society report launch at the Royal Welsh Show

Alzheimer’s Society in Wales has just launched our new report on dementia in rural areas.

We calculate that of the 45,000 people with dementia in Wales, 17,000 live in a rural area and rurality brings about an additional set of challenges for people affected by dementia:

  • Support services are less likely to be commissioned in rural areas
  • Poor transport links make it harder to access help
  • Carers are more likely to feel isolated and unsupported

A series of interviews showed that the isolation felt by people with dementia and their carers was intensified by rurality and transport in particular was a key concern:

According to one of the people interviewed for the report:

'It’s not even about getting around, living in rural areas you know no different. So if you don’t drive, you get used to taking the bus. I used to love going on the bus and with my dementia, it helps to keep me stimulated. But, there is only one bus a week now to one place – so even that’s limited. It wasn’t always like this, there used to be quite a few to different areas.’ 

Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, with the support of the Rural Dementia Taskforce, is calling for more to be done to remedy the situation. We are committed to do our part in tackling these challenges alongside the Welsh Government.

Our six recommendations are:

1.    Welsh Government to invest in research to understand the problem

2.    Identify good practice examples from across UK and Europe

3.    Seek the lived experiences of people living with dementia and their families

4.    Address the challenges of dementia and rurality in the proposed new national dementia strategy for Wales

5.    Address dementia in the Welsh Government’s new revised Rural Health Plan

6.    Examine further the specific challenges that exist for people in rural areas affected by dementia whose first language is Welsh

 Read the report: