Letter-to-the-Editor: Incidence of dementia in Oxley

A new report just released has found that the number of people with dementia in Australia has soared to more than 400,000 - that’s one new case every 6 minutes – with an estimated cost to the community of more than $14 billion this year alone.

If nothing is done to reduce the incidence of dementia, the cost will blow out to more than $18 billion by 2025, in today’s dollars, and more than double to $36 billion in less than 40 years as the number of people with dementia soars to an estimated 536,000 people by 2025 and a staggering 1.1 million people by 2056.

In NSW, there is an estimated 138,700 people with dementia in 2017, which is expected to cost $4.7 billion this year.

Dementia is one of the major chronic diseases of this century. It is already the second leading cause of death in Australia and we know that the impact is far reaching.

In the Oxley state electorate there is estimated to be 2,050 people living with dementia, which is expected to increase to an estimated 2,600 people by 2025 and 4,450 by 2056.

Despite the social and economic impact, we still do not have a fully-funded national strategy to provide better care and outcomes for people who are living with dementia now, nor are we taking risk reduction seriously in order to try to reduce the numbers of people living with dementia in the future.

The time for action is now. If we don’t do something, the cost will continue to grow to unsustainable levels - to more than $18 billion by 2025 and a staggering $36 billion by 2056.

Dementia can be a confronting, isolating, confusing and difficult disease to live with. But your readers living with dementia are not alone. We encourage your readers who have a diagnosis of dementia to contact Alzheimer’s Australia on the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Our professional and compassionate staff can provide free advice and support for how to manage now and into the future.