Did you know today is World Alzheimer’s Day?
Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the opportunity to be part of this international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma about dementia. Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Carol Bennett said “having a globally coordinated awareness day sends a strong message to governments and policy makers alerting them of the serious implications dementia has on services and health systems around the world.” According to the 2015 World Alzheimer’s Report which was released in the lead up to World Alzheimer’s Day, the current annual cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time.
Lights, orbs and interaction to highlight dementia
Affinity, a massive, interactive light sculpture representing the brain will, for the next ten days, take over the Forecourt, St Kilda Road, at Arts Centre Melbourne as a way of visually and physically engaging with the public to help them to better understand the importance of connectivity and interactivity for our brain health.
800 locals to support Memory Walk & Jog in Eastern Park this Sunday
More than 800 locals will be supporting Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s Memory Walk & Jog when it returns to Geelong on Sunday following the success of the event last year. The community fundraising event is part of Dementia Awareness Month, when Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is encouraging everyone to play a part in helping make Australia a dementia-friendly nation.
Dementia-Friendly Communities - it is up to all of us
‘The way people experience dementia is up to you and me,’ according to Carol Bennett, CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia. ‘While government support of start-up programs is required, and political leadership is important, change begins and ends with all of us. At Alzheimer’s Australia we encourage everyone to realise the benefits that come from creating a more inclusive society for people living with dementia.’ Ms Bennett was speaking ahead of a Parliamentary Friends of Dementia forum being held at Parliament House Canberra today where Alzheimer’s Australia will release a Dementia-Friendly Communities white paper. The new paper outlines the benefits of creating a more inclusive, dementia-friendly society. This includes a stronger focus on how to create welcoming communities for people with dementia, and the social and economic benefits this provides to all Australians. Ms Bennett argues; ‘a dementia-friendly community is something that has to be developed to meet the needs of individuals within their communities. It needs to be owned by locals, but driven by people living with dementia and their carers and families.’
International expert encourages calls for National Dementia Strategy
One of the UK’s senior civil servants has spoken about the need for countries, including Australia, to consider developing national strategies to help tackle the growing dementia challenge. Gill Ayling, Head of Global Action Against Dementia with the United Kingdom’s Health Department, is Alzheimer’s Australia’s guest speaker for Dementia Awareness Month 2015, which runs throughout September. Mrs Ayling, who has led the UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Dementia Strategy since 2012 and, most recently, the Global Action Against Dementia following the 2013 G8 Summit, said that dementia is one of the major health challenges for our generation.
Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes generous gift to the Hazel Hawke Foundation
Alzheimer’s Australia is delighted that The Hon. Mark Butler, former Minister for Ageing in the Gillard government has decided to donate the proceeds of his new book Advanced Australia, The Politics of Ageing to the Hazel Hawke Alzheimer’s Research and Care Fund. Carol Bennett, Alzheimer’s Australia CEO said “we are so pleased that the proceeds of this book will go to this important foundation which is one of the few sources of research funding for crucial projects to improve the care of people with dementia. The fund supports the best and brightest Australian researchers who can really make a difference by ensuring the rapid transfer of existing research into better dementia care practice.” The Fund was established in 2003 in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation at the express wish of Hazel Hawke. Since 2004, The Hazel Hawke Alzheimer’s Research and Care Fund has funded over 14 research projects aimed at improving care and support for people with dementia. In 2013 The Hon. Mark Butler was awarded the Alzheimer's Disease International Award for Outstanding Global Contribution to the Fight Against Dementia.
Global cost of dementia set to reach US$1 trillion by 2018
Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds. This is just one of the astounding statistics to come out of Alzheimer’s Disease International’s World Alzheimer’s Report 2015 ‘The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends’, released today in London. The report found there are currently 46.8 million people living with dementia around the world, with numbers projected to nearly double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030. The report also indicated that the current annual cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time. This shows that the cost of dementia has increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer’s Report which estimated US $604 billion.
Urgent call for a national dementia strategy
Alzheimer’s Australia has called for a national dementia strategy, which includes investment in dementia risk reduction and prevention, and better approaches to treatment in primary care. “We strongly believe that dementia is the most significant of the chronic diseases that will face our nation in the decades ahead, yet is the most under-diagnosed and the least well understood” Alzheimer’s Australia National President, Professor Graeme Samuel said. Professor Samuel together with Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Ms Carol Bennett, will address the Standing Committee on Health’s Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Health Care, calling for dementia to be included as a core component of the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions.
New hope for Australian medical research
Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes today’s passing of the legislation for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) through the senate. The MRFF is expected to deliver more than $400 million in disbursements to researchers over the next four years, building to $1 billion per year within the decade. Alzheimer’s Australia National President, Professor Graeme Samuel said “We are delighted to see such a significant investment into medical research. With an ageing population and studies emerging indicating half of all Australians are living with chronic illnesses such as dementia and cardiovascular disease, we cannot afford not to invest in health and medical research to find new ways to improve and ultimately save lives."
Dementia research institute a reality
Dementia research institute a reality. Alzheimer’s Australia is privileged to be chosen by Government to play a key role as service provider for the new NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR). Professor John McCallum has been appointed as the inaugural CEO of the Institute bringing significant experience and knowledge to the role.
Diagnosing dementia – what does the future hold?
Public event: 13 August 2015 A simple blood test, eye imaging, brain scans and memory tests – could these simple techniques be the future for diagnosing dementia? The Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation in partnership with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the CRC for Mental Health, are excited to announce the free public event to be held in Melbourne ‘Diagnosing dementia – what does the future hold?’ Paul Barclay from ABC Big Ideas will host the event.
Alzheimer’s Australia National President appointed to NHMRC
Alzheimer’s Australia is delighted our National President Professor Graeme Samuel, has been appointed to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and as chair of its Health Innovation Advisory Committee and the new NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research (NNIDR) which will assist in administering the Government’s 2014 budget grant of $200 million over 5 years, to boost Australia’s dementia research capacity. Carol Bennett, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia said “we congratulate Professor Samuel on his appointment to the Council and believe he will be an invaluable contributor given his commitment to medical research. We are delighted with his role as chair of the NNIDR which will encourage integration with international research and draw on the expertise of researchers, consumers, health professionals, industry and policy makers to improve dementia prevention, treatment and care outcomes”.