National dementia rate could hit 1 million by 2058, expert warns

Mar 05, 2020
Dementia cases could rise to more than one million if a medical breakthrough isn't made. Source: Getty

Dementia cases will continue to rise without a medical breakthrough into the condition experts have warned, as new figures reveal the shocking extent of people suffering throughout the country.

Despite increased awareness and treatment of the condition, Dementia Australia has said the prevalence of the condition is growing every year.

New figures have shown the number of Australians currently living with dementia has increased to 459,000, and without a medical breakthrough this figure is expected to skyrocket to more than one million by 2058.

Currently, an estimated 250 people are diagnosed with dementia each day, and it’s expected this figure will increase to 318 people per day by 2025 and more than 650 by 2056. Those aged over 85 are most at risk, with three in 10 people in this age group currently diagnosed with the condition. However, it’s also prominent in the 65-plus age group, with one in 10 diagnosed with dementia.

In 2018 dementia was estimated to cost Australia more than $15 billion and it’s expected this will rise to more than $18.7 billion by 2025. But it’s not just the financial impact that is concerning, with statistics revealing dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in Australians over 65.

People who have the condition face a myriad of symptoms, including memory loss, disorientation, mental confusion and behavioral changes.

Dementia Australia has called on all Aussies to do their part in helping dementia patients. Last month the organisation launched a new recourse, The Dementia Guide, which provides dementia patients, their family, friends and carers with information about the condition, available treatments and support and services to help along the journey.

“If you have been diagnosed with dementia, there are many ways you can plan for your future, including how to access services to support you, and to live well for as long as possible,” Maree McCabe, the CEO of Dementia Australia said.

“This guide can assist in finding the right path and it may also be useful for friends, families and carers of people living with dementia, as it contains information about the impact dementia may have on a person, the support and services they may need, and the support and services available to anyone taking on a caring role.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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