John Watkins AM, CEO Alzheimers Australia NSW
During Dementia Awareness Month, which runs throughout September, Alzheimer’s Australia is calling for greater awareness and understanding of dementia so people living with the condition feel less isolated and alone.
There are more than 353,000 Australians with dementia and an estimated 1.2 million people involved in the care of someone with dementia. In the Ballina electorate there are an estimated 1,450 people living with dementia. That figure is projected to increase to about 3,100 by 2050.
A survey just released by Alzheimer’s Australia has found that people with dementia are almost twice as likely to have high rates of loneliness, and people with dementia and carers are significantly lonelier than the general population.
We hear repeatedly that when someone is diagnosed with dementia, friendships and some family relationships suddenly disappear because people simply don’t know how to interact with their friend or loved one with dementia.
Treating people with the same respect, kindness, inclusiveness and thoughtfulness you always have is what makes a difference to them. They are still the same person they were before the diagnosis. They just may need a little bit more time, understanding and support.
I encourage your readers to find out more by going to www.fightdementia.org.au.