Close to a million people will be living with dementia in 2050 and the community needs to adapt to become ‘dementia friendly’, Beechworth Health Service says.
Chief executive Mark Ashcroft said currently close to 500,000 Australians lived with dementia.
Dementia is not one disease, but describes a collection of symptoms caused by various disorders affecting the brain, and was not a ‘normal part of ageing’.
Mr Ashcroft said the majority of people with dementia lived in the community and businesses could help a town be ‘dementia friendly’ by having staff who understood the condition.
“Often people feel socially isolated and wish that they had more opportunities to interact with people in the community and to participate in social or other activities,” he said.
“With the support of their community, local businesses and organisations, neighbours, and friends and family members, people with dementia can continue to do many of the things they did before they received a diagnosis.”
Mr Ashcroft said as the population aged more people would be living with dementia and by 2050, it’s predicted 900,000 Australians will be living with dementia.
As this figure grows, there needs to be a shift in how communities respond, he said.
“With our population ageing and dementia now the second leading cause of death in Australia, building the capacity of local businesses to support people in our community to live well with dementia is a priority,” Mr Ashcroft said.
Beechworth Health Service will host a free Dementia Australia workshop to support businesses becoming dementia friendly on July 31. For details call 03 5728 0200.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here