What is Dementia?

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease.

The early signs of dementia are very subtle and vague and may not be immediately obvious. Some common symptoms may include:

  • Progressive and frequent memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Personality change
  • Apathy and withdrawal
  • Loss of ability to perform everyday tasks

Key facts and statistics (Australian statistics – as at January 2018)

  • Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians contributing to 5.4% of all deaths in males and 10.6% of all deaths in females each year.
  • In 2016 dementia became the leading cause of death among Australian females, surpassing heart disease which has been the leading cause of death for both males and females since the early 20th Females account for 6.4% of all dementia related deaths.
  • In 2018, there is an estimated 425,416 Australians living with dementia.

Currently an estimated 250 people are joining the population with dementia each day.

The number of new cases of dementia will increase to 318 people per day by 2025, and without a medical breakthrough, 650 cases daily by 2056.

The monetary impact of dementia in Australia in 2018 is estimated to cost Australia more the $15 billion and by 2025, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase to more than $18.7 billion in today’s dollars.