Alzheimer’s WA has thrown its support behind an international documentary that shines a torch on the startling statistic that someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds yet there’s still a lack of knowledge about the disease.
Alzheimer’s WA Manager Client Services Tara Walsh, said the campaign, #Every3Seconds, drives home the fact that dementia is not actually a natural part of ageing, but a physical condition of the brain.
“Getting a diagnosis of dementia is not as simple as having a blood test,” said Tara.
“It’s a complicated process of elimination and can take anywhere from months to years.
“Unfortunately the reality is that some people miss out on an early diagnosis because their symptoms are mistaken by family and friends as normal signs of ageing.
“This world-class documentary highlights how stigma surrounding dementia continues to create a major barrier to providing timely diagnosis, and how governments across the world must dramatically increase care, support, awareness and diagnosis, research and treatment.”
Mrs Walsh said dementia is the leading cause of death of women in Australia, and the second leading cause of death of all Australians.
“There are currently 41,149 people living with dementia in Western Australia,” she said.
“This figure is predicted to increase dramatically to over 84,000 people in less than 20 years and almost 150,000 people by 2056.
“Globally it is expected 60 million people around the world will be affected by dementia by the end of 2018.
“Developing better and more accurate ways to diagnose dementia is a critical factor in supporting timely diagnosis and enabling access to early intervention support to assist someone to come to terms with their diagnosis and plan for the future.
“Alzheimer’s WA is currently working vigorously with GPs and specialists to support and encourage this outcome.”
For anyone who wants support with dementia please contact Alzheimer’s WA on their Customer Support line on 1300 66 77 88.