AIHW news

Dementia in Australia report launched during Dementia Awareness Month and Dementia Action Week

The article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Fleur de Crespigny, Dementia Unit Head, AIHW.

It was wonderful to see our report Dementia in Australia launched virtually today by Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services. I’d also like to thank Maree McCabe, CEO of Dementia Australia, for her involvement in the launch and her words about the importance of having accurate information on dementia, as well as Natalie Ive, a dementia advocate who spoke about her personal experience with having younger onset dementia. The release coincides with Dementia Awareness Month and Dementia Action Week, so it’s an important opportunity to highlight this major public health and aged care issue.

Dementia has a profound impact on the health and quality of life of people with the condition, as well as their loved ones. Our report includes personal stories from Australians living with dementia or caring for a loved one with dementia and these show how important it is that we understand the status of this condition in our community. You can read the stories here.

Today’s compendium report brings together the latest data from a variety of sources to help us better understand and build a comprehensive picture of people living with dementia in Australia.

The online report contains updated information and statistics on:

  • What dementia is, how it is diagnosed and what the risk factors are
  • How many people have dementia, including projections to 2058
  • Deaths and burden of disease due to dementia
  • Health and aged care services used by people with dementia
  • Dementia support services
  • Carers of people with dementia
  • Direct health and aged care expenditure attributable to dementia
  • Dementia among vulnerable populations, including Indigenous Australians
  • National policy response to dementia    

This report is accompanied by online supplementary data tables and an accompanying Summary Report, which presents key information in the online report.

I would like to thank my team, especially Melanie Dunford, Lilia Arcos-Holzinger, Alex Buckmaster and Maddie Howlett, for such a momentous effort to bring to life a significant resource that will help health and aged care policy makers and planners to better understand people living with dementia. This is a milestone achievement, so congratulations!

The AIHW has also recently been funded by the Department of Health to undertake a broad program of work on dementia, including the start of ongoing, systematic monitoring and reporting on dementia in Australia. This work will be coordinated by the newly established AIHW National Centre for Monitoring Dementia, which in addition to monitoring dementia, will undertake work to address existing data gaps and inform specific policy needs in relation to dementia in Australia.

See the 2020 AIHW report, Dementia: data gaps and opportunities, for more information on these longstanding gaps in health and aged care data on dementia and how they could be filled

Other recent AIHW reports on dementia can be found here:

More information on dementia or support services can be found at:

  • Dementia Australia website
  • National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500 (a free and confidential service to discuss dementia and memory loss concerns for yourself or others)
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service: 1800 699 799 (if needing help to manage behaviour associated with dementia)
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