Dementia Action Week 2022 is underway in Australia and this year the campaign theme is again ‘A Little Support Makes a Big difference’. At present it is estimated that 487,500 people live with all forms of dementia in Australia. That number is projected to increase to 1,076,000 by 2058 if there is no major medical breakthrough .
Many who live with the debilitating condition can continue to lead active and fulfilling lives for many years following their diagnosis – yet Dementia Australia says many of them, along with their family and carers, frequently experience discrimination.
That’s why this year’s campaign aims to increase Australian’s understanding of dementia, provide information about how to make a positive impact on those affected by dementia (by supporting them, or the almost 1.6million Australians involved in their care, and to assist with eliminating discrimination .
While many living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia experience discrimination, Dementia Australia says their experiences can be improved with your support.
On their website they share a range of resources including:
Close to half a million Australians are living with Dementia at present and that number is predicted to double in the next 25 years.
Here are some key 2022 statistics to consider:
Dementia can be difficult to detect in its early stages as the first warning signs can be subtle and vary greatly from person to person.
While dementia can only be diagnosed by a qualified health professional, Dementia Australia lists the following as some early warning signs:
Geriatrician and Head of Research of Internal Medicine Services at The Prince Charles Hospital, Dr Eammon Eeles and his team are working on an innovative dementia research project alongside the CSIRO and the Queensland Brain Institute.
This world-first study is focused on improving the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of dementia by mapping the brain using a new brain imaging technique and imaging tracer isotype.
“We directly measure chemical signals in the memory-forming part of the brain. This imaging, together with the scans, gives us the best look yet into the workings of the brain and enables us to better evaluate changes that happen with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Eamonn Eels said.
Early detection of dementia can give people more control over their diagnosis and provide the chance for a better and more dignified life.
It can also help those with dementia reduce their risk factors and implement changes to keep their body and brain healthy.
While early detection to slow and halt this insidious disease is in our sights, there are opportunities to improve the experience for those impacted by dementia right now.
In 2021 as part of the inaugural Giving Day, The Common Good was proud to inspire a generous community to donate towards a Dementia Sensory Garden in the Cognitive Assessment and Management (CAM) unit of The Prince Charles Hospital.
The garden, which will continue to evolve will offer a sensory oasis for the unit’s patients and encourage them to venture outside to reignite their sense of smell and touch by engaging with the various plants and herbs nestled within the garden beds.
In the world of medical research, time can be the difference between a breakthrough and leaving a lifesaving discovery in the dark. For just $48, you can support an hour of medical research via The Common Good and help researchers like Dr Eels get closer to detecting dementia earlier, before this disease takes hold. Show your support by making a tax-deductible donation here.
 Dementia Australia (2018) Dementia Prevalence Data 2018-2058, commissioned research undertaken by NATSEM, University of Canberra. https://www.dementia.org.au/information/statistics/prevalence-data
 Dementia Australia, Key Statistics https://www.dementia.org.au/statistics. Date accessed: 19 September 2022
 Dementia Australia, Key Statistics https://www.dementia.org.au/statistics. Date accessed: 19 September 2022.
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Dementia Action Week 2022: The 19-25 of September 2022 marks Dementia Action Week in Australia. Click here to learn more.