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Dementia set to rise



DEMENTIA numbers are set to increase by 2020, according to new research.

A report by Access Economics has found the number of people with dementia in these areas will rise by 66 per cent before the end of the decade.

The report, Dementia Across Australia: 2011 - 2050, highlighted that without a significant medical breakthrough the number of people across Australia with dementia would soar to almost one million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s Australia WA chief executive Frank Schaper said the number of people with dementia in WA was expected to increase by 50 per cent from 24,000 to 36,500 by the end of the decade.

These figures came after the government’s decision to discontinue the Dementia Initiative beyond its current commitment.

“It is unacceptable that the Federal Government is considering terminating guaranteed funding for essential dementia programs and support services such as the dementia helpline and early intervention programs,” Mr Schaper said.

“People need to understand dementia and accept it as a problem, which is why education and awareness is key.”

A spokesman for Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler said dementia was at the front of the government’s commitment to deliver a health and aged care system that better met the needs of older Australians and their families.

“Funding has not been cut from dementia programs and our commitment to continue support for older people, including people with dementia and their carers, is undiminished,” he said.

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