Ten things you may not know about dementia

There is a common misconception that dementia is a normal part of ageing, but this is not the case. Unless you have a loved one who suffers from the disease, you may not have a true understanding of the facts behind dementia.

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There is a common misconception that dementia is a normal part of ageing, but this is not the case. Unless you have a loved one who suffers from the disease, you may not have a true understanding of the facts behind dementia.

  1. 269,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with dementia, with this number expected to grow to 981,000 by 2050.
  2. Around 1,500 new diagnoses of dementia are made each week, with this expected to grow to 7,400 each week by 2050.
  3. Dementia is fatal and is the third leading cause of death in Australia behind heart disease and stroke and yet there is no cure.
  4. By 2029 Australia faces a shortage of 150,000 carers for those suffering from dementia.
  5. If the worldwide costs of dementia (US$604 billion in 2010) represented a country’s economy, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world.
  6. If it were not for family members caring for those with dementia, it would cost $5.5 billion per annum to fund paid carers.
  7. In less than 50 years from now, spending on dementia will be 11 per cent of the entire health and aged care residential sector, outstripping the funding of any other health condition
  8. Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in Australia for those aged 65 years and older, with one in four people over the age of 85 diagnosed with the disease.
  9. Although uncommon, people in their 30s, 40s and 50s can have dementia. This is known as younger onset dementia and currently, there are about 16,000 sufferers under the age of 65.
  10. Funding for those with younger onset dementia is limited and sufferers find it difficult to access age appropriate services, or have proper and regular assessment. This often results in them being shifted between disability services and aged care services without their actual needs being addressed.

    Do any of these facts surprise you? Or are you aware, perhaps through the diagnosis of a family member, just how great is the issue of dementia? Let us know.




    COMMENTS

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    movies
    25th Oct 2011
    10:50pm
    I cared for my mother for 11 almost 12 years. In that time I saw her go from a beautiful, alive person to a shell of her former self. It is one of the most debilitating illnesses as their dignity and self- worth slowly goes ,along with memory and mind. It is very hard on the family and carers, but most of all hardest on the victim. r.i.p. Mum, we all love and miss you very much.
    Keesha
    27th Oct 2011
    2:38pm
    I am a carer for a nursing home. I also work in dementia.
    While I love my job, our wages are disgusting.
    Something needs to be done about the wages urgently.
    A lot of good carers are moving out of caring. The main reason
    Is wages, and we have almost as many injuries as the residents
    We look after.
    I also think certificate III in aged care should be made harder.
    Because it is so easy, the wrong sort of people are working in homes
    Who don't have any empathy for the elderly.
    I do hope wages will increase. Otherwise the good carers will leave
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2012
    8:09pm
    The qualifications need to be increased along with the wages. That will give working in age care some degree of prestage. That is what many people need if they are going to feel a sense of satisfaction in the work they do.


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