Be mindful of dementia this Dementia Action Week

Start a conversation: Think,act and talk about dementia during Dementia Action Awareness Week.
Start a conversation: Think,act and talk about dementia during Dementia Action Awareness Week.

During Dementia Action Week, September 21-27, Dementia Australia is challenging all Australians to think differently about dementia.

Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. That number is set double in the next 25 years.

Many Australians will start experiencing the impact of dementia amongst their own family and friends in the coming years.

Dementia Action Week 2020 aims to clear up some of the prevailing misconceptions about dementia.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe has encouraged all Australians to get behind the national awareness week.

"Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to grow from 447,000 Australians today to almost 1.1 million by 2058, with many more families, friends and carers impacted," Ms McCabe said.

"That's why it's so important we use this week to raise awareness, across all of Australia, of this disease and the discrimination we know people with dementia face every day.

"People living with dementia can continue to live active and rich lives many years after diagnosis.

"It is our role as a community to do the best we can to support people living with dementia live well for as long as possible."

The concept for Dementia Action Week 2020 has been developed in consultation with Dementia Advocates, who have a lived experience of dementia. The stories and voices that will feature across Dementia Action Week are real.

Dementia Australia's research with the broader community shows that there is a prevailing attitude that people living with dementia are overwhelmingly very old, frail and living in care. This has been reinforced by consultation with advocates where their experiences confirm that once diagnosed with dementia there is a perception that they have a complete loss of function and independence.

These misconceptions lead to judgements by the community about the capacity of a person living with dementia and condescending behaviours. Such beliefs cause significant discrimination against people living with dementia.

Dementia Action Week 2020 will demonstrate that many people living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis. Many continue to make significant contributions to our community, they engage, make their own choices and live rich and active lives.

As part of Dementia Action week, Dementia Australia will be releasing a new tip each day on how everyone can help people living with dementia live well.

For more information on Dementia Action Week and to see how you can get involved visit www.dementia.org.au.

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