Dementia is everybody’s business, say experts after new figures show more than 353,800 Australians will be affected by the fatal disease this year.
Alzheimer’s Australia is calling for a national co-ordinated approach to tackle the rising rates of dementia, the second leading cause of death nationally, after heart disease.
“It is a condition that does not discriminate and will impact socially and economically on every community across Australia,” said CEO Carol Bennett.
“The estimated cost of dementia to the health and aged care system is at least $4.9 billion a year.
“A national strategy with measurable outcomes that covers education and awareness, prevention, timely diagnosis, quality of care and research for a cure is long overdue.”
The new figures from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for 2016 show that an
additional 11,000 people will be living with dementia nationally than the previous year.
The 353,800 estimate is expected to increase to about 400,000 people by 2020 and almost 900,000 by 2050 if a cure or significant medical breakthrough is not found.
Ms Bennett told AAP that increased awareness was needed in the community so people can get early diagnosis and are aware of risk-reduction strategies.
“Brain training, physical activity, heart health – because we know what’s good for the heart is good for the brain, good diet and social engagement are showing really good results in research for reducing the impact of dementia and certainly the progression of dementia to its later stages.”
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO John Watkins said while dementia can be very isolating, confusing, confronting and difficult, people can live well with it, with the right support.
This includes using a new website, 杭州桑拿,livingwellwithdementia杭州桑拿按摩,杭州桑拿网,, which contains information and tips as well as personal stories from people with the disease.