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. Dementia is a progressively fatal condition, with most people in the advanced stage of dementia requiring constant care and support, often provided by residential aged care services. The number of Australians living with dementia is projected to increase with more Australians living to older ages.

This page 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.

New release Dementia in Australia

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

Featured reports

Latest findings

Approximately 1 in 3 people who died due to COVID-19 during the first 10 months of 2020 also had dementia

Fewer people with dementia died due to influenza or pneumonia during the first 10 months of 2020 than in recent years

Measures designed to prevent COVID-19 infections probably also led to lower dementia death rates in 2020

People who died with younger-onset dementia used health services more than older people with dementia

68% of people with dementia who died aged 65 or over presented to the emergency department in their last year of life

People with dementia who died aged 65 or over had an average of 59 prescriptions dispensed in their last year of life