Dementia diagnosed every 3 seconds worldwide

Every 3 seconds one person worldwide is diagnosed with dementia – a group of conditions, which affects over 350,000 Australians and 46 million people worldwide.

Page last updated: 21 September 2016

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21 September 2016

Every 3 seconds one person worldwide is diagnosed with dementia – a group of conditions, which affects over 350,000 Australians and 46 million people worldwide.

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day – a day that aims to increase awareness about dementia and the most common form, Alzheimer’s.

Assistant Minister for Health & Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, MP said, “This is a condition that affects an individual’s cognitive function, with no known form of prevention or a cure.

“Dementia has life altering consequences, not only for the person living with it, but it also has a heavy toll on their family and friends.

“In Australia, we have about 200, 000 informal family carers involved in the care of a person living with dementia and this number is only going to increase.

“It’s important if you notice a loved one acting out of the ordinary, showing symptoms of confusion, memory loss, and personality changes that you know help is available.”

Dementia is the greatest cause of disability in Australians 65 years of age and over, however it doesn’t discriminate. It could strike at any age, Assistant Minister Wyatt said.

Alzheimer’s disease affects a person’s thinking, behaviour, memory, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and more broadly dementia are very subtle and can sometimes go unnoticed for months or even years.

Dementia can be diagnosed by your general practitioner through a series of assessments, as there is no single test that is able to diagnose the condition.

The Australian Government recently provided $3.9 million to Alzheimer’s Australia to provide a Dementia Friendly Communities Program.

The Dementia Friendly Communities Program will deliver community awareness programs to give people an increased understanding of dementia and the support services that are available.

World Alzheimer’s Day will further complement the work being done throughout September for Dementia Awareness Month, which encourages Australians to find out more about living with dementia and what you can do to increase the quality of life for someone living with the condition.

For more information about dementia, please visit the Fight Dementia website, or visit your general practitioner.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 4707.

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