The Far West Local Health District is encouraging people to become dementia aware and increase their understanding of what it is like for a person living with dementia.
September is “Dementia Awareness Month” and the theme for 2017 is ‘You are not alone.’
“The purpose of Dementia Awareness Month is to encourage Australians to become dementia-aware, have a better understanding of what it is like for a person living with dementia, and ultimately be encouraged to create communities where people with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value,” said Jane Cain, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Aged Care in Emergency.
The health service will have a display and information stand all about dementia in the Broken Hill Hospital foyer on Thursday, 21 September.
There are an estimated 413,000 people living with dementia in Australia and an estimated 1.2 million people involved in the care of someone living with dementia. Without a significant medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to grow to more than half a million people by 2025 and 1.1 million people by 2056.
Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life. The hallmark of dementia is the inability to carry out everyday activities as a consequence of diminished cognitive ability.
“Dementia can happen to anybody, but the risk increases with age,” said Ms Cain.
“Most people living with dementia are older, but it is important to remember that most older people do not get dementia. It is not a normal part of ageing, but is caused by brain disease.
“At present there is no cure for most forms of dementia. However, some medications have been found to reduce some symptoms. Support is vital for people living with dementia and the help of families, friends and carers can make a positive difference to managing the condition,” said Ms Cain.
Alzheimer’s Australia offers support, information, education and counselling. Contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500, or visit our website at fightdementia.org.au.
For further information please contact Linda Sutherland CNS Aged Care/Dementia/Falls on 08 8080 1285.