Don’t forget the elderly, those with dementia and a cognitive impairment as Queensland braces for Cyclone Debbie

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Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) is calling on all Queenslanders to remember the elderly, those with a cognitive impairment and those with a disability as tropical Cyclone Debbie threatens to deliver devastating impact to Queensland’s north coast.

Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) CEO, Victoria Beedle, is concerned that those with dementia or a cognitive impairment may be at heightened risk of harm as we anticipate the dangerous storm and impending evacuation of affected areas.

“The elderly, people with dementia or a cognitive impairment may need extra assistance at this time,” Mrs Beedle said.

“A condition such as dementia or cognitive impairment can add to confusion, for some people, in what is already a heightened and stressful situation.”

There are an estimated 77,633 people with dementia in Queensland, and 70% of those are living at home in their communities. Being patient and understanding, while giving clear instructions can assist a person with dementia to evacuate or take necessary precautions during this time.

“If you know of an elderly neighbour or relative, someone who has dementia, a cognitive impairment or disability please check to ensure they are safe and understand the imperative to stay indoors and shelter until the storm has passed, or assist them to evacuate if necessary,” Mrs Beedle said.

“Our thoughts are with all those in affected areas during this time. We wish that everyone stays safe and follows the direction of the many dedicated emergency services personnel, until the storm has passed.”

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. An estimated 413,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million in 40 years. 

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                     




Media enquiries:

Sibel Korhaliller / 0488 713 340/ [email protected]