Jun 11, 2024

How Australians die reinforces dementia impact on community and healthcare system

Report on how Australians die reinforces dementia impact on community and healthcare system
More than 421,000 people are living with dementia in Australia, a figure that is expected to double in the next 30 years. [iStock].

The What do Australians die from? report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) highlights the most common causes of deaths in Australia.

The report shows dementia remains the leading cause of death for Australian women and the second leading cause of death of all Australians.

Dementia Australia CEO Professor Tanya Buchanan said dementia is one of the most pressing health challenges facing Australia.

“With more than 421,000 people living with dementia in Australia, a figure that is expected to double in the next 30 years, dementia has a significant impact in our community and on our health services,” Prof Buchanan said.

“We know from Australian and international research that dementia is a poorly understood condition, yet it is one of the leading causes of death for Australians. Dementia is not a normal part of the ageing process. It is however, one of the major health challenges facing Australia.

“Dementia Australia is committed to working towards improving brain health and improving the experience of people living with dementia, their families and carers. For people with a dementia diagnosis, access to appropriate services and care can be fragmented and challenging to access.”

People impacted by dementia tell us they need:

  • A timely and accurate diagnosis,
  • Access to support services like those provided by Dementia Australia at the time they are diagnosed, including referrals to the National Dementia Helpline, 1800 100 500,
  • Supports services that maintain dignity and autonomy, and
  • Appropriate palliative care services.

“Dementia Australia is committed to working with people impacted by dementia to achieve better outcomes and to reduce the impact of dementia into the future,” Prof Buchanan said.

“We are proud to be one of the leading funders of research into dementia.

“There are exciting breakthroughs in research which demonstrate we can start to prevent many cases of dementia as well as being able to offer effective treatment and support services.

“Dementia Australia through the Dementia Australia Research Foundation is investing in research that will ultimately make a tangible difference to dementia outcomes.”

The Foundation’s research grants are currently open here.

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