Did you know that over 350,000 Australians now live with dementia, for which there is currently no known cure?
Rather than a specific disease, dementia is a range of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. It affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks and while it’s more common in people over 65, those in their 40s and 50s can also develop dementia.
Common types of dementia include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, alcohol-related dementia and Huntington’s disease. While there is no cure for most forms of dementia, some medications have been found to help. Support from family, friends and carers can also make a positive difference, which is where groups like Alzheimer’s Australia come in.
Who organises Dementia Awareness Month?
Alzheimer's Australia is a member of Alzheimer's Disease International, the umbrella organisation for Alzheimer's associations across the globe. It advocates the needs of people living with dementia, their families and carers and provides support services, education and information.
Alzheimer’s Australia delivers a range of national dementia programs and services funded by the Commonwealth government, including the National Dementia Helpline, early intervention programs, dementia community centres, counselling and carer support and public awareness activities, of which Dementia Awareness Month is an important component.
What is Dementia Awareness Month?
Dementia Awareness Month is an initiative of Alzheimer’s Australia held during the month of September each year. Its aim is to encourage all Australians to become more dementia aware, to get a better understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia and to create communities where people with dementia are supported and can enjoy a better quality of life.
How can you get involved?
A wide range of events is held around the country during Dementia Awareness Month, including media campaignson mainstream TV, radio and press, forums and lectures involving dementia experts, black tie auctions and dinners and free information nights.
The best way to find out what’s happening in your area is to select the link for your state or territory on the Alzheimer’s Australia website.
As well as attending an event, there are other ways you can contribute during Dementia Awareness Month. These include:
- Volunteering with Alzheimer’s Australia or another dementia-related organisation.
- Making a tax-deductible donation to Alzheimer’s Australia or leaving a bequest in your will.
- Sharing information about dementia online using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels.
- To find out more about Dementia Awareness Month and Alzheimer’s Australia, go to www.fightdementia.org.au.