Coordinated approach required to tackle nation's rising dementia rates

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Media Release

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Coordinated approach required to tackle nation’s rising dementia rates

Dementia figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for 2016 show that an additional 11,000 people will be living with dementia this year, bringing the total number of Australians affected by the condition to more than 353,800.

Dementia prevalence data from the AIHW’s Dementia in Australia report also shows that figure is expected to reach about 400,000 people by 2020 and almost 900,000 people by 2050 if a cure or significant medical breakthrough is not found.

“Dementia is a National Health Priority and the second leading cause of death in Australia, which requires a coordinated and strategic response to reduce rates of dementia and provide support to those who are currently living with dementia,” Alzheimer’s Australia National President, Professor Graeme Samuel, said.

“It is a condition that does not discriminate and will impact socially and economically on every community across Australia,” Professor Samuel said.

“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.” 

“What is needed is a collaborative and cost effective response to dementia that will see government, health care professionals, the community, people living with dementia, their families and carers all working together to reduce the rate of dementia and ensure that people living with the condition continue to have access to the services and supports they require to achieve a high quality of life.”

Alzheimer’s Australia has called on the government to consider the significance of dementia in the upcoming Federal Budget priorities by investing $101.6 million over three years towards:

  • Increasing awareness to reduce stigma and social isolation associated with dementia
  • Risk reduction strategies which look to partner with other health promotion campaigns sharing common risk factors
  • Timely diagnosis, to connect people with dementia to the support and services they need sooner
  • A coordinated approach to post-diagnosis care and support
  • Initiatives to improve the quality of care for people with dementia 
  • End-of-life care to support the choices of people with end-stage dementia
  • Investment in dementia research and support for consumer involvement in dementia research.

Read Dementia Australia’s full 2016-17 Budget Submission here.

Media enquiries:

Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | [email protected]

Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

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