Overview

Dementia is a significant and growing health and aged care issue in Australia that has a substantial impact on the health and quality of life of people with the condition, as well as for their family and friends.

Dementia is a term used to describe a group of similar conditions characterised by gradual impairment of brain function. Changes due to the condition may affect memory, speech, cognition (thought), behaviour, mobility and an individual’s personality, and their health and functional ability decline as the disease progresses.

In September 2021, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, (former Minister for Health and Ageing), and Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, (former Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services), announced $13 million over four years would be allocated to a dementia monitoring work program and the establishment of the AIHW National Centre for Monitoring Dementia, see news article.

 

Dementia in Australia

See the Dementia in Australia online report for the latest statistics on dementia

Featured reports

Latest findings

More than half (58%) of the younger onset dementia cohort lived in permanent RAC at some time during the study period

Dispensing of antipsychotic medicines to the younger onset dementia cohort increased after entry to permanent RAC

The needs of people with younger onset dementia, and their carers, are often different from those of older people

Identification of likely early dementia patients from MBS data may improve dementia prevalence estimates.

A decision tree approach provides combinations of health services that may indicate early dementia.

Geriatrician attendances and brain scans are highly predictive of early dementia.

This topic presents reports and statistics that are specifically focused on dementia, but additional information on dementia can be found under Aged care, Older people and Palliative care services.