Alzheimer’s Society reports two-fold increase in calls to its Dementia Helpline in the last decade

Alzheimer’s Society has released data showing that more people affected by dementia than ever are desperately seeking help

  • In 10 years, over 320,000 calls to the Dementia Helpline have been answered, with average increase of 10% year on year
  • Last year alone, number of calls for help reached equivalent of 120 calls per day
  • Post-Christmas break sees upsurge in calls and visits to charity’s online community

The number of crisis calls to Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Helpline have more than doubled in the last decade (136%), reaching over a third of a million (320,000), with 45,000 calls for help being answered last year alone. Around 120 calls were made each day last year, with a 10% increase year on year since 2009.

Despite Christmas usually being a time of increased support, with people surrounded by friends and family, the festive season can be a particularly challenging and isolating time for people affected by dementia, as it can lead to a break in familiar routines, which can set too high expectations for people with dementia and can often be overwhelming. 

Sandy Sweet, 60, described how Alzheimer’s Society helped after her mother was diagnosed with dementia. She said:

I first phoned Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Helpline when Mum was diagnosed, soon after Christmas. My parents and brother came to visit, and we always used to have a big Christmas Eve party. I noticed something was wrong because my Mum didn’t recognise my friends, even though she knew them well.

“When I was told about Mum’s diagnosis, I didn’t know what to do, or where to go. I found the Dementia Helpline number, where I was able to talk through all my questions and get invaluable advice about current drug treatments.

“I must have phoned four or five times over the years – I call and just say I need help. They are always so helpful. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about them, especially when I couldn’t find any other support out there, which is why it is so important for people to donate to Alzheimer’s Society this Christmas, so more families like me can benefit from this vital lifeline.”


Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

Until we find a cure, we want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are and whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for support, help and advice.

“Far too many people affected by dementia are reaching crisis-point, feeling abandoned with nowhere to turn. It’s no wonder that we’re seeing upsurges in calls for help to our Dementia Helpline and visits to our online community and website for instant support, which is simply not available elsewhere.

“To help us cope with this increase in demand, please give whatever you can to Alzheimer’s Society this Christmas, so that we can continue to provide vital support to the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the millions more families and friends who are affected during the festive season and all year-round.”


Tanya Franks, Eastenders actress and Alzheimer’s Society supporter, said:

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Helpline was one of our first ports of call, supporting us in understanding what was happening to my stepdad Derek when he was diagnosed with dementia. Lots of people do feel alone over the festive season - and all year-round.

“Both the Helpline and online forum Talking Point, where people can communicate with others who are going through similar experiences, are lifelines. They offer invaluable support at what can be a really difficult time, which is why raising money for Alzheimer’s Society is so important this Christmas.”

Help Alzheimer’s Society continue to provide vital support to people affected by dementia this Christmas, and all year-round, by donating at