Approximately 459,000 Australians are living with dementia, a number that is expected to rise to 590,000 by 2028.
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a group of symptoms that occur simultaneously. It often refers to memory loss in addition to at least two of the following:
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with abstract thinking
- Word finding difficulties
- Changes in mood or behaviour
- Loss of initiative
- Disorientation of time and place, poor or decreased judgement
- Misplacing things, regularly
Although dementia is most common in people over the age of 65, and age is the strongest known risk factor, it is not considered part of normal ageing.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for approximately 50 – 70% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that currently has no cure.
Dementia not only affects individuals with the condition, but it also has a substantial impact on their families and carers, as people with dementia eventually become dependent on their care providers in most, if not all, areas of daily living.
To access our 24/7 dementia helpline operated by healthcare professionals, freecall 1800 639 331.