Dementia in Australia: Key Facts & Statistics
Dementia is a group of symptoms that refers to the degenerative decline in the brain’s processes, such as changes in personality, impaired judgement, and lapses in memory. It has many different types; one of the most common is Alzheimer’s disease.
In Australia, it is estimated that more than 342,800 people are living with this mental condition, and 1,800 individuals are being diagnosed with it each week or one person every six minutes.
Dementia’s Financial Pressure
The financial cost of dementia is putting a significant strain in the Australian economy. Between 2009 and 2012, the direct medical costs of dementia in the whole country were not less than $4.9 billion, making it among the top sources of medical spending for over several years now.
It is also estimated that by 2029, the country will face a shortage of more than 150,000 healthcare workers to look after patients suffering from dementia. The same trends show that in 2060, the spending for dementia will be around $83 billion, enough to surpass the costs for other health conditions in the country.
Long-Term Care Home vs. In-Home Health Service
Families of loved ones with dementia often have to face the dilemma of choosing whether to enlist the service of an in-home heath care agency or have their elderly loved one be cared for in a long-term care home. Most elderly patients choose to age in the place they know well, which is their home.
Early Dementia Diagnosis Improves Lives
According to the Royal District Nursing Service, dementia is prevalent; 3 in 10 people aged 85 and above have dementia, while almost 1 in 10 aged 65 and above has the condition. As such, it is never impossible that your elderly loved one might also develop the disease.
Consult with your healthcare provider once you noticed that your loved one is suffering from the condition. With prompt dementia diagnosis, complications can be prevented and quality of life can be improved.