New figures show more than 425,000 Australians are living with dementia, with an estimated 250 people developing the disease each day.
Dementia Australia’s Maree McCabe said while there was no cure for dementia, the right support, information and help could make a life-changing difference to people living with the condition.
“There is a perception in the community that nothing can be done following a diagnosis of dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“However, with an estimated 425,000 Australians living with dementia this year alone, which is expected to soar to 536,000 people by 2025 and more than 1.1 million people by 2056, it is vital people understand the right support can make the world of difference to everyone impacted by dementia,” she said.
“These figures are cause for concern and we need to make sure we continue to invest in more research to find ways to better treat the condition, or find a cure.
“In the meantime, we must also make sure the huge number of Australians impacted by dementia are accessing good quality, appropriate support and services, which can help them cope better with the uncertainty and changes that come with dementia. One significant issue Dementia Australia staff often hear following a diagnosis of dementia is how isolating it can be.
“However, the right services can help people reconnect and re-establish relationships with partners, families and friends, which can be so important for their emotional wellbeing. Social engagement and keeping physically and mentally active are also key in contributing to better health and lifestyle following a diagnosis of dementia.”
Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians and the leading cause of death among Australian women.
Ms McCabe said support services at the early stage following a diagnosis were also essential.
“They enable people to better understand the condition, which helps prepare for the changes that will inevitably come,” she said.
“They can also help people re-engage with life.”
For further details, call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or go to the website.