A LOCAL elderly support charity is calling for the government to take responsibility and support "isolated and lonely" dementia sufferers in the area.

A report published by Alzheimer's Research UK found there are 2,400 people in Christchurch with dementia.

The town was labelled the 'dementia capital of the UK', with 28 cases of the progressive brain disorder per 1,000 people in the conurbation - higher than anywhere else in the country.

Lorraine Purdue of Age Concern Christchurch, a charity which aims to improve the quality of life for thousands of older people across the borough, said the figures were not a surprise.

"Christchurch definitely has a high proportion of people with memory loss, other dementia related symptoms and Alzheimer's disease, particularly in Highcliffe," she said.

"Unfortunately as an area there is such a small amount of support available for these individuals.

"People move to the area thinking there is going to a be a lot of help provided, but that simply isn't the case.

"They become so isolated and lonely.

"People need a proper advice service for guidance and help with benefit entitlements. Citizens' Advice is centralised and very difficult for elderly people to make use of.

"Accessing their money can be a real problem as so much now being done online and they are extremely susceptible to scams."

"The government are not looking into the issue enough and have to do more.

"They are focusing everything on younger people with technological advances.

"Some can cope with this, but often older people are not able to get along with it.

"Older people are discriminated by not having having the support they need, with there being such a reliance on technology."

"Organisations who are responsible for delivering this specialist support have consider that a lot of the population are going to suffer from dementia in the future.

"It's going to be a massive problem when people our age reach that stage in life and something needs to be done immediately."

Age Concern helps elderly people maintain their independence through providing information, advice and practical assistance.

The charity also runs a volunteer befriending scheme, which Ms Purdue says is becoming more and more important.

"We are desperately in need of more volunteers to support people in the area," she added.

"The befriending service is vital for people in the community. Recently one of our volunteers was visiting a resident and realised they had been scammed and was able to help them.

"The elderly are targeted and they need more help.

"In the past it would have been neighbours who looked out for the older people in the community, but we live in different times now."