There are currently more than 413,000 people living with dementia in Australia and without action this number is set to increase to 1.1 million by 2056. The growing number of people living with dementia in Australia poses a considerable challenge to health care, both now and in the future.
Many people living with dementia have co-existing illnesses requiring hospitalisation. Dementia Australia is proud to support the Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign to make hospitals safer and less confusing places for people living with dementia and to minimise harm by identifying cognitive impairment early.
People living with dementia experience higher adverse clinical outcomes including longer stays in hospital, higher re-admission rates and higher mortality, and are six times more likely to experience delirium than people who do not have dementia.
The recent report by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), The Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056, which was commissioned by Dementia Australia, found that the total annual cost of dementia in 2017 is $14.67 billion. It also found this number is due to increase to $36.85 billion by 2056. Hospitalisation represents the largest component of the direct costs of dementia in Australia.
The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Dementia calls for governments in all countries to fund a national dementia strategy. The Global Action Plan aims to improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers, while decreasing the impact of dementia by setting out seven global action areas, with measurable targets.
The seven action areas include:
Dementia Australia has for some time been calling for a National Dementia Strategy to be developed in Australia, with appropriate funding and with measurable outcomes.
Dementia Australia manages a wide range of innovative national programs to deliver services. These include provision of information, support, counselling, training and education for people living with dementia, their families and carers, as well as services for health care professionals working in the dementia field.
Many of these programs are funded by the Australian Government.
Services delivered by Dementia Australia include:
For information, advice and support please phone the:
The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government funded initiative.
Or visit the Alzheimer’s Australia website for comprehensive information about dementia, care information, education, training and other services offered.