MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor professor Henry Brodaty says it's vital people understand how they can make a difference to people living with dementia.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor professor Henry Brodaty says it's vital people understand how they can make a difference to people living with dementia. Obencem

SHOCKING STATS: Dementia numbers to soar in Hinkler

MORE than 2500 additional people are expected to be diagnosed with dementia in the Hinkler and Flynn electorates in the next 10 years.

New figures show there are an estimated 6144 people currently living with dementia in the two electorates.

This number is expected to increase to 8666 by 2028 and 11,519 by 2058.

A survey, Inclusion and Isolation: The contrasting community attitudes to dementia and updated figure s, were released on Friday to coincide with World Alzheimer's Day.

Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor professor Henry Brodaty said with the prevalence of dementia increasing it was vital that everyone understood how they could make a difference to people living with dementia.

"The figures show that all Australians will be impacted by dementia in some way through caring for someone, knowing a friend or family member or receiving a diagnosis themselves," Prof Brodaty said.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said one of the biggest issues people faced following a diagnosis of dementia was social isolation, as friends, family and their community struggled to understand how to best support people living with the disease.

"Dementia can be one of the most profoundly isolating conditions, despite the fact it is impacting so many people," Ms McCabe said.

"What has been heartening to see, though, is that 80 per cent of people surveyed had heard of dementia and, of those people, a further three in four people were able to correctly identify basic facts about dementia.

"Despite this knowledge, it is concerning that four out of five people surveyed believe that others feel uncomfortable around people with dementia and two in three believe that individuals have a negative perception of people with dementia.

"When we explored this further in the survey, it really came down to people saying they just weren't sure how to talk to someone with dementia.

"More than 60 per cent of people said they didn't know what to say to someone with dementia, while more than 50 per cent said they were worried they wouldn't be understood, that they would say the wrong thing or that they might hurt the feelings of a person living with dementia."

More than 1,500 people across Australia took part in the survey, conducted by Reflections Research for Dementia Australia.



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