Dementia is a progressive condition with no cure. The term ‘dementia’ describes a group of illnesses which have the symptoms of loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning and which results in progressive functional decline. There are many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of dementia differ for everyone, but generally worsen over time.
The impacts of dementia are multi-factorial, complex and cross agencies, program areas, local government boundaries and health and social domains. Our rural overlay exacerbates or adds complexity, in relation to:
- delay between symptom onset and diagnosis (Australian average of 3 years)
- reduced service capacity for effective responses and quality interventions.
Dementia can happen to anybody, but is more common after age 65. This is highly significant as CVPCP has a higher than average proportion of adults aged over 65 years, with a predicated significant increase in this cohort by 2050. (See Table 1)
Measures can be taken to reduce the risk of dementia and other chronic diseases.
Dementia Prevalence 2015-2050
|LGA||2015 (%pop)||2026 (%pop)||2031 (%pop)||2050||2015-50 % change|
|Central Goldfields||312 (2.5%)||472 (3.4%)||490 (3.5%)||2937||842%|
|Macedon Ranges||531 (1.3%)||1121 (2.0%)||1415 (2.4%)||2867||440%|
|Mount Alexander||362 (2.1%)||607 (2.9%)||699 (3.2%)||1024||183%|
|Central Vic PCP Total||1205 (1.7%)||2200 (2.5%)||2844 (3.0%)||6828||467%|
|Victoria||78190 (1.5%)||125744 (1.8%)||139205 (1.9%)|
What can we do to respond to the increasing incidence of dementia in our communities?
Addressing complexity is hard; sustainable solutions require a long term commitment at a local level to a partnership and collective impact approach.
Finding local solutions is imperative to mitigating the negative impacts of dementia on local communities and local service systems. Aspiring to creating local communities that are ‘dementia friendly’ will:
- help reduce the risk of dementia and slow its onset or progression.
- improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their primary carers.
Get involved in working towards a dementia-friendly Maldon
A dementia friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. The Central Victorian township of Maldon is working towards a dementia-friendly community. It began with two community sessions.
Dementia: Central Victorian Dementia Partnership Working Group is made up of key stakeholders who provide dementia services in our CVPCP catchment, and who are partnering to develop a CVPCP Dementia Action Plan, based on the Dementia Friendly Community framework to guide local activities.
General: There are several regional and local shire networks of service providers, working together to address local issues, including those related to dementia. For a list of these networks click here.
Dementia: Loddon Mallee Region Dementia Pathway
Elder Abuse: CVPCP Elder Abuse Prevention Guide & Pathway
Support and Entry Point information – all on the Loddon Mallee Region dementia pathway
National Dementia Helpline can help if you are not sure how to help a consumer or want information or support services – 1800 100 500.
My Aged Care is the entry point to an aged care service (home services, respite services, residential services) – 1800 200 422
DBMAS 24hour Helpline can support those caring for someone with dementia demonstrating behaviours that impact on their care – 1800 699 799
Seniors Rights Victoria can assist older adults experiencing abuse, or community members concerned about potential abuse – 1300 368 821
Dementia Websites – all on the Loddon Mallee Region dementia pathway