Minister Raises Dementia Awareness
Almost 600,000 Australians are projected to be living with dementia by 2030 as Australia’s population ages.
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14 January 2011
Almost 600,000 Australians are projected to be living with dementia by 2030 as Australia’s population ages, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said today.
Mr Butler contemplated the figures as he visited Hammond Care in Sydney today to raise dementia awareness.
“More than 250,000 Australians currently have dementia, and around one in four people aged over 85 experience dementia or memory loss,” Mr Butler said.
“Dementia affects the lives of nearly one million Australians who are involved in caring for a family member or friend with dementia.
“However, dementia is not a normal part of the ageing process that should simply be accepted; it’s a condition that can be managed.
“By actively raising awareness, we can encourage people to engage in risk reduction measures, as well as better support people currently living with dementia.”
Mr Butler today launched awareness-raising campaign materials – ‘Know the Signs’, which will provide information to health professionals and the general public to raise awareness about the early signs of dementia and the importance of early treatment and management.*
“There is a significant degree of stigma and fear around dementia which may cause many people to ignore legitimate concerns they have about their brain and cognitive function,” Mr Butler said.
“This campaign will dispel some of the myths surrounding dementia and provide people with information to take action in response to any changes that may occur and impact upon their daily lives.”
The Minister also announced eight dementia research projects to be managed through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), as well as opening Round Four of the Dementia Community Support Grants Program.**
The Australian Government is continuing to fund a range of dementia programs worth $760 million over four years under the successful Dementia Initiative.
The funding includes:
- $31.5 million over three years to the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service
- $24.5 million over three years for the National Dementia Support Program
- almost $4.9 million for eight new NHMRC Dementia Research Grants projects
Mr Butler said continued funding for the Dementia Initiative*** followed an independent national evaluation that found it had made a substantial and beneficial contribution to people living with the condition, as well as their families and carers.
For more information call Mr Butler’s office on (02) 6277 7280
*Know the Signs campaignInformation resources including pamphlets and posters will be available to health professionals and the public to increase discussion about dementia and encourage the community to be aware of the early signs. The campaign supports people to talk about dementia with their family and friends and to seek medical advice if they believe they are experiencing symptoms such as memory loss.
** Dementia Community Support Grants Program*Funding of $50,000 (GST exclusive) can be provided for projects of up to 12 months in duration. Applications close at 2pm, Tuesday 10 February 2011.
***Dementia Initiative EvaluationFor a copy of the report, please see the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website.
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