Dementia is a national health concern in Australia. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death in the country. Ironically, the Australians have extremely low dementia awareness.This is according to a recently published national survey.
Online Survey on Dementia Awareness
Ipsos Australia conducted an online survey in September 2017. 1,049 Australians from the general public participated as respondents. Based on the results, more than 80% are unaware that dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia.
Moreover, half of the respondents lack understanding about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the respondents thought that dementia is not a disease, but is normally part of ageing. Further, 41% percent said that talking to people with dementia is confronting.
This low dementia awareness alarms the experts.
Dementia is a national concern and a health priority in the country.
Dementia Australia organised a report. This report contains the full findings of the online survey. However, they have not published the full copy of the results. Luckily, you can get a copy of it upon request.
Dementia as a National Concern
Dementia is a national concern and a health priority in the country. This is because it is the leading cause of death among women in the country. What is more alarming is that this is increasing rapidly.
Around 413,000 Australians have dementia. Experts expect this number to rise up to 1.1 million by the year 2056. Despite this, Australians have poor dementia awareness. Many do not know what dementia is and how it impacts people and the society.
People often misunderstand dementia.
Dementia is a general term, not a specific disease. It is not synonymous with Alzheimer’s. It is used to describe conditions associated with a decline in cognitive skills and memory loss.
There are more than 100 types of dementia. The most common of them is Alzheimer’s disease. Around 60 to 80% of dementia cases are diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease.
People often misunderstand dementia. Many incorrectly associate it with senility. It is not a normal part of ageing but a condition that seriously causes mental decline. While it is common among older people, it could affect the younger ones too.
Because of this misconception, there is now a need to promote dementia awareness in the country. That is the mission of Dementia Australia.
Dementia Australia was officially launched on October 18, 2017. It is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. The change in name better reflects the many forms of dementia.
Dementia Australia is a national organisation that provides support services, information and education on dementia. It seeks to assist people with dementia, as well as their families and carers. The organisation dedicates itself to elevating dementia awareness in the country.
During the launch, Chair Graeme Samuel said that there is a need to change the way people see and treat dementia. This is in response to the alarming survey showing Australians’ low awareness of the condition.
Under the new structure, the organisation will be able to educate the public better about dementia. The name itself represents the many forms of dementia. It does not limit itself to Alzheimer’s.
The organisation’s advocacy is not without help. It has support from stakeholders, the government and the community in general. Together, dementia awareness among Australians will eventually be elevated.
Want to learn more about Dementia Australia? Find out about its advocacy and support services.