Blog post by Myreen Bevan (RN) – Living with dementia

In Queensland, more than 55,800 people are living with dementia and dementia related illness and it is only expected to increase as Australia’s ageing population grows with the number of Australians over the age 85 expected to increase from 400,000 to 1.8million by 2050.

Dementia also affects the lives of nearly 1 million Australians who are involved in caring for a loved one or friend with dementia.

So what is this thing called dementia?

Dementia is not a single specific disease. It is an umbrella term describing a condition associated with more than 100 difference disease and illness processes that are characterised by the impairment of brain functions, including language, memory, perception, personality and cognitive skills. The diversity of these symptoms varies with the type of dementia and the pattern of development that is usually as individual as the individual themselves. Dementia however is gradual in onset, progressive in nature and irreversible.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 50 – 70 % of all cases; the second most common is Vascular Dementia which may be preventable with healthy lifestyle and awareness. While the risk of developing dementia increases with age, dementia is not a natural part of ageing.

Dementia is one of the major reasons why older persons enter residential aged care services or seek assistance from community care programmes in Queensland.

At PresCare we offer a range of care packages in the community and all of our residential facilities cater for a number of residents with dementia. Our teams pride themselves on providing services and activities designed to make life easier for those living with dementia. Call us on 1800 773 722 to find out more.

Tried and tested ways to prevent dementia in old age

  • Eat your omega – 3’s – fatty acids may help prevent both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia – studies show that the Japanese with their diet high in fish have lower rates of disease in addition to having longer life expectancies
  • Take it easy – those who have a more stressful lifestyle have a higher than average likeliness to develop dementia in there later years
  • Cut down on alcohol and cigarettes – these can kill off your brain cells thus increasing the risk of dementia-like symptoms
  • Keep yourself active – helps to keep your blood flowing and to the brain and heart and therefore decreasing the likelihood of dementia symptoms

Myreen Bevan RN (Registered Nurse)