Dementia care uncertainty: survey
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.