Governments must respond to massive increases in dementia
23 April, 2012
• The number of people with dementia in Victoria to hit 245,813 by 2050 - unless there are medical breakthroughs
• Metropolitan regions of Narre Warren South, Cranbourne and Albert Park will be hardest hit by 2050
• 479% predicted increase in the number of people with dementia in Tarneit
Families, carers and people living with dementia are destined to bear the full brunt of the dementia epidemic in Victoria if State and Federal Governments do not take decisive action on dementia based on new prevalence figures released by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.
Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer's Australia Vic, Maree McCabe, said no area in Victoria is spared; within Melbourne, areas as diverse as Albert Park, Box Hill and Narre Warren South show some of the highest figures.
“The new figures from Deloitte Access Economics add further weight to the need to fund the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Action Plan nationally and, at a state level, for increases in funding to best enable Alzheimer’s Australia Vic to plan for these future massive increases.
“We receive a majority of our funding from both State and Federal governments, we appreciate this and the demands on our services are such that increased funding is essential to meet the needs of our clients.
“Working with insufficient funding makes it is very difficult to deliver on our role as the peak body in Victoria for people living with dementia, their families and carers when we know the prevalence is growing at such an alarming rate. Victorians deserve better than this.
“We need to increase our services. We need to raise awareness about dementia especially when it comes to ensuring people achieve a timely diagnosis. We need to educate our community on dementia risk reduction and we need to invest much more in research.
“We also need to maintain our direct link to the community through our National Dementia Helpline. This service responds to hundreds of calls every month. It is a vital gateway to all the services and support available,” Ms McCabe said.
The 2012 top 10 metropolitan State Electoral Districts (SEDs) for prevalence are (in order): Box Hill 1,077, Bentleigh 1,062, Pascoe Vale 1,020, Burwood 1,007, Preston 1,002, Brighton 989, Ivanhoe 978, Sandringham 923, Mount Waverley 917 and Oakleigh with 905.
The epidemic increases are revealed when the 2050 top 10 metropolitan State Electoral Districts are reviewed: Narre Warren South 3,502, Cranbourne 3,249, Albert Park 3,208, Yan Yean 3,145, Melbourne 3,138, Doncaster 3,077, Altona 3,057, Warrandyte 3,024, Box Hill 3,009 and Lyndhurst with 2,954.
The growth corridors form a major part of this picture with top 10 metropolitan percentage increases from 2012 to 2050: Tarneit 479%, Yan Yean 474%, Yuroke 465%, Narre Warren South 414%, Keilor 385%, Cranbourne 384%, Melbourne 379%, Mill Park 370%, Albert Park 347%, Kororoit with 346%.
“Dementia is already the third largest cause of death in Australia* and prevalence will almost double by 2030, increasing to over 141,000 people living with dementia.
“Without a significant medical breakthrough, according to these figures, the number of people with dementia in Victoria is expected to increase from about 72,000 people today, to almost 246,000 by 2050. Nationally that figure is expected to be around one million by 2050,” Ms McCabe said.
Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has sent every State parliamentarian in Victoria the new dementia prevalence information, including what the increases are in their electorate.
“We hope this information about their own electorate sharpens the focus for individual parliamentarians and helps ensure commitments in the coming budget to making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“We know what we need. Both governments know what we need. The time has come now to outline a funding plan for it – not for the next year or five years but for over the next decade to 20 years.”
In Victoria almost 72,000 people are living with dementia, 56 people develop dementia every day.
Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people with dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.
Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic
*Causes of Death Australia 2012, Australian Bureau of Statistics
Data and Ranking Tables and ‘Your electorate at a glance’ for State Electoral Divisions are available for download at www.fightdementia.org.au/vic
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