World Alzheimer’s Day is campaigned internationally on 21 September every year. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer-related dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that impairs memory and other mental functions. It is the most common form of dementia that generalises memory loss and loss of other essential cognitive abilities that are serious enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life.
21 September 2018 marks the 7th world Alzheimer’s month since the campaign was launched in 2012. From previous studies, an average of 2 out of 3 people globally have little or no understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementia in their countries.
Dementia affects approximately 160,000 Australians. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 50-75% of cases. Alzheimer’s disease occurs most commonly in the elderly. Dementia affects about 10% of those aged over 65 years with 20% of those over 80 years suffering from severe dementia. Women may be at slightly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men. An Access Economics report commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia and published in March 2005 suggests that the number of people with dementia in Australia will be 25% higher by 2050 than was predicted in 2003.
The report estimates that:
- By 2016, dementia will be the leading cause of disease burden in Australia.
- By 2050, the total number of Australians with dementia will be over 730,000, or 2.8% of the population.
- During 2050, it is projected that there will be over 175,000 new cases diagnosed.
For this year’s event, organisations and interested individuals can get involved by supporting awareness through contacting the Alzheimer’s association in their specific country.
If you would like to find out more information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.dementia.org.au and for contact information for the Dementia Australia in the Northern Territory, please visit www.dementia.org.au/nt/about-us/contact-us.