Marking Dementia Action Week

23 September 2021

Awareness and education are two of the key ingredients our community needs to help overcome the growing challenge of dementia which is on the rise as our aging population grows.

That’s why Southern Cross Care Queensland is on board with Dementia Action Week, spearheaded by Dementia Australia, from 20 – 26 September, spreading the word about what dementia is and the support available.

“Around 472,000 Australians live with dementia  – a condition that impacts thinking, behaviour and our ability to perform everyday tasks, interfering with social and working life.  Most are over 65, but it can affect people in their 60s and even their 50s, and sometimes even younger,” Southern Cross Care Queensland CEO Jason Eldering said.

Without a medical breakthrough, Dementia Australia projects that number will rise to more than a million over the next 30 years.

“The challenge of dementia affects whole communities both in care and beyond.  In fact. around 1.6 million Australians are involved in caring for and supporting people with dementia each day,” Mr Eldering said.

“Importantly, dementia is much more than a set of statistics, it’s a lived experience with a very human face and it takes a huge toll on the people we love and care for and those caring for them.

“Our team of professional health carers understand dementia, and provide clinical expertise and support to families in navigating the dementia journey in every one of Southern Cross Care Queensland’s aged care homes across the state,” he said.

At Southern Cross Care, providing expert, compassionate support in integrated communities designed to keep families living with dementia together is a critical part of what we do, as Jasmine’s story shows.

The early signs of dementia may include progressive and frequent memory loss; confusion; personality change; apathy and withdrawal; and the loss of ability to perform everyday tasks.

The World Health Organisation makes 12 recommendations to reduce the risk of cognitive decline –

  1. Be physically active
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Eat a balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet
  4. Drink alcohol in moderation
  5. Cognitive training
  6. Be socially active
  7. Look after your weight
  8. Manage any hypertension
  9. Manage any diabetes
  10. Manage any cholesterol
  11. Manage depression
  12. Look after your hearing and manage hearing loss.

“As we age, we all want health, wellbeing and independence and so I urge everyone to know the early signs of dementia and the steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

“When dementia does emerge, our team at Southern Cross Care Queensland is here with expertise and a person-centred philosophy of care to provide support,” Mr Eldering said.