What is dementia?
Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. Dementia can affect thinking, memory and behaviour. Dementia can interfere with someone’s normal social or working life.
Who gets dementia and are there any treatments?
Dementia can happen to anyone but is more common in those over the age of 65. Three in ten people over the age of 85 have dementia and almost one in 10 people over 65 have dementia.
At present, there is no cure for most forms of dementia. However, medications and treatments are available to relieve some of the symptoms for some people.
Signs and symptoms of dementia
Early signs of dementia can be subtle and may not be immediately obvious.
Common symptoms of dementia include:
- Difficulty remembering, particularly recent events
- Making decisions
- Expressing your thoughts
- Understanding what others are saying
- Finding your way around
- Performing more complex tasks
- Managing finances
What can I do?
It is essential to talk to your doctor if you are concerned you may have some of the symptoms of dementia. You may wish to take a family member or friend with you as support. Early diagnosis means early access to support, information and if available, medication.
If you are caring for someone with dementia
Caring for your loved one who has dementia can be rewarding but can also have its tough days. It is important to look after yourself, so you can stay well and continue providing care.
Carers can access a wide range of services, from counselling and peer support groups, to respite care and home help.
More information and support
Dementia Australia is the national peak body for people impacted by dementia in Australia. They offer support, information, education, and counselling to those affected by dementia.
Dementia Australia offer support to:
- people living with all forms of dementia
- families and friends of people living with dementia
- health care professionals and workers supporting people with dementia
Dementia Australia also provides help and resources for people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
For additional resources and information about the services available to you, contact the Dementia Australia Free National Hotline on 1800 100 500 or visit: www.dementia.org.au
An Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers.
Ph: 1800 422 737
My Aged Care
Provides the information and support you need to understand, access, and navigate the aged care system.
Ph: 1800 200 422