Dementia friendly communities should be a priority according to Alzheimer’s Disease International, which is calling on global leaders to help create societies where the inclusion of people living with dementia becomes part of everyday life. On a global scale, a person develops dementia every three seconds, and if dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy.
The call follows the release of a report at the recent Alzheimer’s Disease International’s 31st International Conference in Budapest. The report, Dementia Friendly Communities: Key Principles and Global Developments, discusses the implementation of dementia friendly communities and the key principles that should underpin them; several Australian dementia friendly community initiatives are showcased in the report.
All states and territories across Australia have numerous programs underway, and consumers have indicated that stigma and social isolation continue to be major issues following a diagnosis. According to Alzheimer’s Australia, more than 353,800 Australians are living with dementia and it’s estimated 1.2 million are involved in the care of a person with dementia. Unless there is a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia in Australia is estimated to hit almost 900,000 by 2050.
With the Australian general election touted to be held on 2 July 2016, Alzheimer’s Australia believes dementia should feature on the National agenda and form part of the election discussion. It has provided a submission to the Federal Treasurer to inform the 2016-17 Federal Budget to implement a comprehensive and nationally funded strategy.
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