There is an urgent need for the community to address the social impact of a dementia diagnosis on people with the disease, Ita Buttrose told guests at the inaugural Bring it to the Table event in Brisbane this evening.
“People often talk about the implications of dementia on the health system, but it’s equally important to discuss the impact a diagnosis of dementia has on the relationships, quality of life and community engagement of people living with dementia,” she said.
“A survey in 2012 found that one in 10 people would avoid spending time with a person with dementia, and nearly half would be humiliated by a diagnosis. Just imagine how isolating that must feel for the person with dementia.
“It’s also not uncommon for the family of someone with dementia to feel grief at the loss of the relationship with the person they once knew, and sometimes even angry and frustrated at peoples’ reactions, as they try to cope with the difficult behaviours of the person with dementia.”
Ms Buttrose said the Bring it to the Table event marked the launch of one of Dementia Australia’s major fundraising initiatives for 2014. Similar events will be held throughout Australia during June and funds raised will go towards providing crucial support services for people with dementia, their family and carers. The Brisbane event was held at Moda Events, Portside, and was organised by Alzheimer’s Australia Queensland.
“Community support for fundraisers such as Bring it to the Table helps to challenge the stigma associated with dementia by raising awareness and increasing social engagement of people with dementia in communities across Australia,” Ms Buttrose said.
“Dementia Australia’s aim is to create dementia-friendly communities – and a dementia-friendly Australia – that support people with dementia to enjoy a high quality of life in our communities with meaning, purpose and value.”
For more information about Bring it to the Table, visit bringittothetable.com.au.
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Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 332,000 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
Alex Nielsen, GM – Marketing and Communications / 0407 232 212 / firstname.lastname@example.org