New research shows dementia numbers rapidly rising


There were alarming predictions in a new health report released in Canberra today.

The number of people with dementia in Australia is projected to triple by 2050.

Thomas Hartley reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The Institute of Health and Welfare report says by 2020 the number of Australians with dementia is set to rise by one third and, three decades later, triple to just under a million sufferers.

Alzheimer’s Australia president Ita Buttrose says she hopes the surprising figures will convince policymakers more money is needed for specialised care and research.

Ita Buttrose, President, Alzheimer’s Australia: “We are looking at a huge increase in cases, the figures today confirm what we have been saying, that by 2020 we’ll have almost 400,000 people living in this country and that’s a lot of people who are going to need specialised care.”

The “Dementia in Australia” report warns government health investors will need to carefully prepare for the change.

David Kalisch, Institute of Health and Welfare: “That will provide demands and requirements on the aged care services, on community care services and on the health care services and on the health care system and it’s important for the society and government to prepare for that change.”

Dementia was the third leading cause of death in 2010, twice as many women dying from the illness than men.

Thomas Hartley, QUT News.