Media Releases

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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”.

Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the findings in the Ageing and Mental Health journal - Homicidal ideation in family carers of people with dementia (published online: 20 July 2015). These results are the first of their kind, and underline the pressing need for more support programs for carers and family members of people with dementia. 

Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the findings of the Senate Inquiry report into the adequacy of existing residential care arrangements available for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia tabled last night in the Senate. 

The findings, particularly recommendation 9, support the common sense view that younger people at risk of going into residential aged care, or about to enter residential aged care, need to be assigned a worker to address their specific needs, including broader carer support. The report recommendations go further in arguing the Younger Onset Dementia Program needs to be extended.

A new resource to help prevent the financial abuse of people with dementia is now available, to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The resource, a Q & A sheet, explains how financial abuse of people with dementia can occur. It has been developed following research carried out by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW that found the majority of cases of the financial abuse of people with dementia are carried out by people known to the victim, and that there is no clear mechanism in place for people to report suspected financial abuse.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO The Hon. John Watkins said it was distressing to think that people with dementia do get targeted for financial abuse.

“We hope this resource will go some way towards preventing such opportunistic and troubling behaviour,” Mr Watkins said.

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:

Graeme Samuel AC, National President of Alzheimer’s Australia and Associate Professor Michael Woodward, Chief Medical Officer at Alzheimer’s Australia Vic will be expert guest speakers at a Rotary Club of Ivanhoe breakfast on ageing and dementia.

The lives of people living with dementia can be improved through engagement with Montessori based activities, according to new findings resulting from a pilot project run by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.

A combination of dementia and stroke or coronary heart disease can result in a unique set of challenges for people living with these conditions and their carers. All three conditions have similar risk factors meaning it is not uncommon for a person to be living with more than one of these.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are affected by dementia at a rate 3-5 times higher than the general Australian population and these rates are increasing. Finding better ways to tackle dementia in these communities should be a national priority, according to Carol Bennett, CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia.

High profile journalist and businesswoman Ita Buttrose will speak at the inaugural international ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ conference in Melbourne in September. The conference is believed to be the first of its kind and will feature speakers talking about sex, relationships and intimacy as men and women age.

Acclaimed chef Ikuei Arakane has joined the line-up of world-class chefs who will cook for A Night To Remember, a fundraising event to be hosted by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic at the RACV City Club on 30 May.