Is it Dementia? (17.10.2013)

Written on the 17 October 2013

Is it Dementia? (17.10.2013)

In Victoria almost 74,600 people are living with dementia.

As the co-convener of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Dementia, I was excited to launch a new on-line web resource that will make a difference to the lives of all Victorians living with dementia, their families and carers.

‘Is it Dementia?’ was developed by Alzheimer’s Australia to assist staff in community service industries - including transport, emergency services, retail, fire, corrective services and banking – to recognise the signs of dementia.

The resource provides access to fifteen minute industry specific training videos containing core education on how to work with someone with dementia. The videos include interactions between frontline service staff and people with dementia in various settings and suggested actions to support the person with dementia. ANZ and the NSW taxi industry have been the first to utilize the resource.

Each video uses humour and education to plant the seed that ‘this might be due to dementia.’ It helps people deal with potentially challenging behaviour and encourages them to show compassion and understanding.

The resource is also a fantastic first step for anyone who thinks they might have dementia or for someone who might be wondering about a friend or family member who might be affected.

In addition to education and training videos, the website includes fact sheets, information about the early signs and symptoms of dementia, treatment, service and support information, the role of heredity, managing the risk factors and advice on reducing the chance of developing dementia.

Currently, across Victoria, there are 74,600 people living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 141,000 by 2030.  As an example, there are currently 916 people registered with dementia in Oakleigh and this is expected to grow to 2,243 by 2050 – a 145 per cent increase.

• Australia also faces a shortage of more than 150,000 paid and unpaid carers for people with dementia by 2029

• Dementia will become the third greatest source of health and residential aged care spending within two decades, these costs alone will be around 1% of GDP

• By the 2060s, spending on dementia is set to outstrip that of any other health condition. It is projected to be $83 billion (in 2006-07 dollars), and will represent around 11% of health and residential aged care sector spending in Australia.

Pictured: Georgie Crozier MLC with CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, Maree McCabe, taxi association representatives and dementia carer, Hella Boys at the launch of the ‘Is it Dementia’ tool at Victoria Parliament House.

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