About Dementia

About Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms caused by a large group of disorders affecting the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, however the correlation is a loss of brain function including thinking, memory, behaviour, planning, and performing daily tasks.

It is usually progressive, with more symptoms occurring as the condition develops. Dementia is usually associated with adults over the age of 65; however, people as young as 30 have been diagnosed. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing.

Alzheimer’s Australia, in an updated report issued in June 2015 [1], stated that 342,800 Australians currently live with dementia. Dementia is the leading cause of disability in older Australians and the second leading cause of death in Australia, with approximately 1,800 new cases diagnosed each week.

By 2050, the number of Australians living with dementia is expected to reach 942,624 if a significant medical breakthrough is not achieved [2].

As the number of people diagnosed with dementia increases, so too does the number of carers and families affected. These affects are not only financial, but also emotional and psychological.

This has significant implications for health professionals and service providers who play a key role in responding to the ongoing impact of dementia.

[1] Alzheimer’s Australia, Key facts and statistics
A report on the key facts and statistics of dementia in Australia, updated June 2015 and available as a pdf file for download (213 Kb)

[2] Alzheimer’s Australia, Summary of dementia statistics in Australia
A web page listing that summarises the current national facts and figures about dementia in Australia.