Although Christmas is supposed to be the season of joy, thousands of dementia patients across Wiltshire will be spending it alone this year.

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for anyone forced to spend it away from their loved ones, but for the 7,900 people in Wiltshire living with dementia and their families, it can be especially tough.

According to recent data from Alzheimer’s Society, 30 per cent of Wiltshire dementia patients will be unable to visit loved ones this year, and one in five are no longer able to recognise family members.

The results from the survey lay bare the devastation caused by dementia, and many families say the disease has “robbed them of Christmas”.

“I lost my mum to dementia just after Christmas, and we had that last Christmas with mum not knowing it would be the last we had,” said Adam Sibley from Royal Wootton Bassett.

“In some ways, I wish I had known it would be our last so I could have made it even better and more memorable.”

Wiltshire Times: Adam Sibley and his mum June.Adam Sibley and his mum June. (Image: Alzheimer's UK)

Adam’s mum June was diagnosed with onset dementia at the age of 51. She was hospitalised on Boxing Day and died three weeks later, just before her 54th birthday.

“Christmas is a time that I reflect on my mum and how we lost her. She would always get us Cadbury’s Roses and I still buy them only at Christmas to this day,” he shared.

“It’s an awful disease to face, especially at Christmas time, and most people will be affected by dementia in the years to come so it’s really important for people to be informed and know where to turn to for support," he added.

In light of their recent survey results, Alzheimer’s Society has now launched their ’12 Day of Christmas appeal’ and are asking locals to donate to help keep their dementia support line running.

“One in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime,” said Cat Medley, regional manager for Alzheimer’s Society.

“Too many people are facing dementia alone, and we want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for help.

“Almost a third of carers we spoke to say the greatest Christmas gift they could receive would be talking to someone who cares and understands, and our call service is invaluable” she added.

You can support or donate to the '12 Days of Christmas' appeal by visiting Alzheimer's Society's website.