Taking action on dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

5 June 2015

Media Release

The importance of addressing the alarming rate of dementia among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities has led to the identification of four priority areas for action.

Today Alzheimer’s Australia is releasing a communique of a recent workshop, Continuing the Conversation addressing dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which outlines the four priority areas:

  • education and awareness of dementia
  • risk reduction strategies for dementia
  • accessible services and supports for people with dementia and
  • high quality and culturally appropriate residential aged care options for people with dementia.

Fred Tanner, Chairperson of Alzheimer’s Australia’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATSIDAG), said: “Given that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are affected by dementia at a rate 3-5 times higher than the general Australian population, it’s imperative that we work towards improving these priority areas.

“In order to achieve this, we need to ensure that information produced and services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are culturally appropriate and easily accessible. This could help to alleviate barriers currently faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families about dementia. We also a need to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities in the delivery of appropriate dementia support and aged care services to their own communities."

Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Carol Bennett said: “Alzheimer’s Australia is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who may be living with dementia. For instance, last year we released a resource, Your Story Matters, to enable communities to identify steps they can take to reduce their risk of developing dementia.

“This is just the first step in providing information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their risk of dementia.”

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Media enquiries: Alex Nielsen / 0407 232 212 / alex.nielsen@alzheimers.org.au

Note to editors:

  • A copy of the communique can be read or downloaded here.
  • Available for interview:
    • Fred Tanner, Chairperson NATSIDAG
    • Carol Bennett, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATSIDAG) provides Alzheimer's Australia with ongoing consultation and advice to improve services and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


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