Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, the leading cause of death of women, the second leading cause of disease burden overall, and the leading cause of burden for people aged 65 as reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in Australia’s Health 2024 publication just released.

Dementia Australia CEO Professor Tanya Buchanan said the report reinforces the enormity and impact of dementia in Australia as the chronic disease of the 21st century and must receive the attention it needs.

“The report provides vital information for governments, and the health, aged care and disability sectors to ensure there is investment in appropriate dementia supports and services,” Professor Buchanan said.

“The data also provides compelling evidence of the need for further funding commitments to dementia research, increasing community awareness and a strategic public health approach to dementia prevention.”

“The latest research tells us that with increased awareness of the modifiable risk factors across populations and over time, we could be delaying or potentially preventing 40 per cent of dementia cases.”

“With the number of people with dementia expected to double by 2054, we need a National Dementia Action Plan to provide a clear vision for the future to move dementia care forward in Australia.

“Dementia Australia and people living with dementia, their families and carers have contributed to the development of the next iteration of the draft National Dementia Action Plan and we eagerly await its release.

There are more than 421,000 people living with dementia in Australia, and more than 1.6 million people involved in their care.

“I encourage anyone with any questions or concerns regarding dementia to contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit”