Logo
Skip Links

Dementia. A little support makes a lot of difference

Pile of newspapers

Dementia Action Week runs from 21 to 27 September, and it’s a timely reminder for everyone to realise they can make small changes to support people living with dementia to live well for as long as possible.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Dementia Action Week runs from 21 to 27 September, and it’s a timely reminder for everyone to realise they can make small changes to support people living with dementia to live well for as long as possible.

“People living with dementia, their families and carers commonly experience social isolation and discrimination as a result of prevailing misconceptions about dementia,” said Philippa Calwell, Access and Support Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“People with dementia can continue to live active and rich lives many years after diagnosis.

“What’s really important is to learn different and meaningful ways to be connected with people living with dementia. This will reduce the isolation they, and their carers, experience,” said Ms Calwell.

“You can do simple things like include people living with dementia in conversations, ask their opinions and invite them to be involved in activities or outings. Try to avoid making assumptions about their capacity to make decisions or how they can contribute,” said Ms Calwell.

In 2016 more than 437 people in Mount Alexander Shire were living with dementia. By 2050 this number is expected to rise to almost 1,793, with one million people across Australia.

Dementia Australia’s research with the broader community shows that there is a prevailing attitude that people living with dementia are overwhelmingly very old, frail and living in care. This has been reinforced by consultation with advocates where their experiences confirm that once diagnosed with dementia there is a perception that they have a complete loss of function and independence.

These misconceptions lead to judgements by the community about the capacity of a person living with dementia and condescending behaviours. Such beliefs cause significant discrimination.

“Dementia is the leading cause of death among Australian women, and remains the second leading cause of death across all Australians,” said Ms Calwell.

“It’s a significant issue not only for our community, but right around the globe. We can all make small changes which will make a big difference to the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.”

Throughout Dementia Action Week, Dementia Australia will release a new tip each day on how everyone can help people living with dementia to live well.

The campaign will also feature the stories and voices of people living with dementia. It demonstrates that many people living with dementia can continue to live well for years after their diagnosis. Find out more at www.facebook.com/DementiaAustralia or www.dementia.org.au.

What is dementia?
Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. The condition affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks which interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.

Most people with dementia are older, but it is not a normal part of ageing. It can happen to anyone including a family member, friend, neighbour, co-worker or customer. Dementia does not discriminate, do you?

*Source: NATSEM, University of Canberra, January 2016. Commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia (now Dementia Australia). Victorian Local Government Areas Report.



More latest news...


Powered by