An estimated 269,000 Australians currently live with dementia. Without a major medical breakthrough, that is expected to soar to about 981,000 by 2050. Each week, there are 1,500 new cases of dementia in Australia. That is expected to grow to 7,400 new cases each week by 2050. There are approximately 16,000 people in Australia with Younger Onset Dementia (a diagnosis of dementia under the age of 65). Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke.
And you can help in a local and fun way. Afternoon Rock is a rock n roll / rockabilly themed fundraising event being held at the Brisbane Abruzzo Club in Carina on Sunday 25th September. It’s only $10 a ticket ($15 at the door) and there’s going to be raffles, a silent auction and lots more.
The event is hosted by Special Care Clothing Solutions. And we, Carindale Connect, are proud to be providing support and were surprised to discover that Queensland has not held an Alzheimer’s Australia fundraising event before. Ex-Masterchef contestant Danielle Dixon has donated a dinner party for 6 which also includes a masterchef-style demo of one of the dishes. Other supporters include Cr Adrian Schrinner (Brisbane’s Deputy Lord Mayor), Breakaways Rock n Roll Club and Fernwood Fitness Carindale.
(Alzheimer’s Australia media release 13th September 2011):
A major report by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) prepared by the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London has found that in high income countries only 20-50% of people living with dementia are recognised and documented in primary care.
The authors say that this greatly limits access to valuable information, treatment, care and support.
The report concludes that every country should have a national dementia strategy that promotes early diagnosis and intervention.
Glenn Rees, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia, said that the findings in the ADI report are consistent with a new paper released by Alzheimer’s Australia for Dementia Awareness Week today titled “Timely diagnosis of dementia: Can we do better?”.
“This paper, prepared by a team at the University of Newcastle has found that there is an average of 1.2 years before a diagnosis is made from the first consultation. This was consistent with longstanding concerns of consumers about delays in diagnosis,” Mr Rees said.
“There were many reasons for the delays in diagnosis including the false belief that dementia is a normal part of ageing, denial on the part of the individual and family, the complexity of diagnosing dementia and doctors being reluctant to damage the doctor-patient relationship.”
The Alzheimer’s Australia paper identifies strategies to overcoming the barriers to diagnosis including; greater public awareness and understanding of dementia; training and education to better support GPs at the service level; and system changes involving the more effective use of practice nurses to assist with the screening of those concerned about their memories.
“A key issue is the failure of health policy to regard dementia as a chronic disease,” Mr Rees said.
“Any issue to do with dementia is regarded as one for aged care with the consequence that many important health issues including timely diagnosis, acute care, dementia risk reduction and investment in research are simply swept under the carpet.”
Professor David Ames, Chief Medical Advisor, Alzheimer’s Australia, said it is important that those who are worried about their memory go and see their doctor.
“Memory loss may not be caused by dementia, but, if it is, getting a diagnosis as early as possible is important in helping to get the right information, treatment and support.”
This year Dementia Awareness Week centres around these messages with the theme “Worried About Your Memory? Call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500”.
For more information on Dementia Awareness Week visit www.alzheimers.org.au.