Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of ageing
28 June, 2012
Alzheimer’s Australia is concerned to see the comments, from mental health specialist Dr David Spektor, on the front page of today’s Sydney Morning Herald.
The radical comments which refer to Alzheimer’s disease as “a normal part of ageing” undoes all the work that has been done to create awareness and encourage people to seek support when they experience serious changes in their memory.
Glenn Rees, CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia said that Dr Spektor’s comments surrounding a diagnosis in people aged in their 80s and 90s is as concerning as suggesting that people aged in their 80s and 90s should not be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease.
“Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is a degenerative disease. Everyone, regardless of their age, has a right to know if they have a serious medical condition,” Mr Rees said.
“A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can go a long way to providing individuals with access to support and serves as a way to educate their family as to the person with dementia may be acting in a certain way.
“Without a diagnosis, people often spend traumatic years knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is.
“The comments made today by Dr Spektor are distressing, not only for Alzheimer’s Australia, but also for the thousands of people living with from Alzheimer’s disease around the country.”
Alzheimer’s Australia agrees with Dr Spektor’s comments that Australia needs funding to provide better care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and the Living Longer. Living Better aged care reforms announced by the government on April 20 go part of the way towards this.
“Further to this more funding is needed for research into Alzheimer’s disease today so that we can reduce the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the future,” Mr Rees stated.
“The statistics are very worrying; without research into how we can better combat dementia there will be almost one million with the disease by 2050.
“We need better care for those with dementia today and research to decrease those numbers tomorrow.”
Download a copy of this media release here.