De­men­tia care un­cer­tainty: sur­vey

Geraldton Guardian - - NEWS -

Aware­ness of de­men­tia is on the rise but peo­ple are un­sure how to sup­port or com­mu­ni­cate with some­one liv­ing with the dis­ease, a sur­vey has re­vealed.

This comes as up­dated fig­ures re­veal there are more than 436,000 Aus­tralians liv­ing with de­men­tia.

This num­ber is pro­jected to in­crease to 590,000 in just 10 years and al­most 1.1 mil­lion by 2058.

De­men­tia Aus­tralia hon­orary med­i­cal ad­viser Pro­fes­sor Henry Bro­daty said with the preva­lence of de­men­tia in­creas­ing, it was vi­tal all Aus­tralians un­der­stood how they could make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple liv­ing with the dis­ease.

“The fig­ures show that all Aus­tralians will be im­pacted by de­men­tia in some way through car­ing for some­one, know­ing a friend or fam­ily mem­ber or re­ceiv­ing a di­ag­no­sis them­selves,” he said.

De­men­tia Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Ma­ree McCabe said one of the big­gest is­sues peo­ple faced af­ter a di­ag­no­sis of de­men­tia was so­cial iso­la­tion, with friends, fam­ily and their com­mu­nity strug­gling to un­der­stand how to best sup­port and con­tinue to in­clude peo­ple liv­ing with the dis­ease.

“De­men­tia can be one of the most pro­foundly iso­lat­ing con­di­tions, de­spite the fact it is im­pact­ing so many peo­ple,” Ms McCabe said.

“What has been heart­en­ing to see, though, is that 80 per cent of peo­ple sur­veyed had heard of de­men­tia and, of those peo­ple, a

fur­ther three in four peo­ple were able to cor­rectly iden­tify ba­sic facts about de­men­tia.

“De­spite this knowl­edge, it is

con­cern­ing that four out of five peo­ple sur­veyed be­lieve that oth­ers feel un­com­fort­able around peo­ple with de­men­tia.

“And two in three be­lieve that in­di­vid­u­als have a neg­a­tive per­cep­tion of peo­ple with de­men­tia.”

More than 436,000 Aus­tralians are liv­ing with de­men­tia, ac­cord­ing to lat­est fig­ures.

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