Dementia Awareness Month reminds people impacted by dementia that they are not alone
ASPREE warmly welcomes and thanks Ann Reilly, Acting General Manager Client Services, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic for taking the time during September, Dementia Awareness Month, to share general information and answer commonly asked questions about dementia.
Ann (pictured left) continues: The prevalence of dementia is growing significantly as our Australian population ages and unfortunately over 70 per cent of Australians admit that they know very little about dementia.
Dementia impacts people living with the condition as well as their families and carers. We can all play a part in giving people living with dementia the opportunity to remain engaged with their community and lead meaningful lives. Alzheimer’s Australia provides education, support, advocacy, information, counselling and a broad range of resources for Australians of all ages living with all forms of dementia, as well as their families and carers.
There are more than 353,800 Australians currently living with dementia and without a medical breakthrough that figure is predicted to rise to almost 900,000 by 2050.
Isn’t dementia and Alzheimer’s disease the same thing?
Some people confuse dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. There are more than 100 different types of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is one of these; by far the most common type of dementia. Many people associate dementia with memory loss but there are many different symptoms including changes in thinking and confusion.
Can dementia be passed down generations?
Dementia can be inherited but most cases of dementia are not inherited.
Can I reduce my risk of developing dementia?
There are ways to reduce the risk of getting dementia. Although we can’t guarantee that you won’t get dementia even if you ‘do everything right’, studies of large groups of people do show that those who adopt ‘brain-healthy’ lifestyles have a reduced risk of developing dementia.
Where to go for help and information:
I hope many readers will take the opportunity to find out more about dementia and what they can do to help make Australia a more dementia-friendly community for those impacted by the condition. I encourage you to call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit http://www.fightdementia.org.au.