It is National Dementia Awareness Month this September, an event that we here at Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers think deserves support.
Dementia is a very confronting disease. It is often a hard road for both the person with the condition and their family, but with strong cooperation and support from relatives and community, dementia can be faced bravely by anyone. However, there are many misconceptions about what exactly dementia is and how it is diagnosed.
With a theme “Creating a Dementia-Friendly Nation,” Australia holds Dementia Awareness Month and launches a range of events to educate the whole nation about the disease. More than 332,000 Australians are affected with the disease and it is one of the single biggest causes for entry into aged care. Although there are many types of dementia, the most common are Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, front temporal dementia, and vascular dementia.
What is dementia?
According to FightDementia.org.au, dementia can be “a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.” When a person is diagnosed with dementia, their ability to perform everyday tasks is highly affected. It also affects the way they think and behave. Dementia interferes with the way the brain normally functions, thus affecting a persons social and working life.
Dementia is a serious disease and it’s not as simple as becoming forgetful. Although most people with dementia are older people, it can also happen with people in their 40’s or 50’s so it’s not just an aged care problem and treatment may not involve formal residential aged care until many years after diagnosis.
People with dementia report that losing grip of the memories that define them as the most painful aspect of this condition. However, public sentiment towards sufferers is also confronting:
- – 50% of Australians think a person with dementia can’t have a meaningful conversation.
- – 11.7% would avoid spending time with a person who had dementia.
As of this moment, there is no way to prevent or cure dementia. But creating a more dementia-friendly nation is possible. We need to support, help and encourage one another to make a positive difference in the lives of people battling with dementia.
Below is a short video produced by Alzheimer’s Australia entitled, “The Unspoken Impact of Dementia.” Every Australian should see this. Don’t forget to share this video blog with your friends and loved ones. Sharing is caring.