Dementia is one of the most common conditions experienced by Australians, affecting someone's ability to perform everyday tasks. In some circumstances, someone with dementia may require a reliable, compassionate aged care support worker to help them maintain independence and connect with their community.

Do you consider yourself an expert on all things related to dementia? September is Dementia Awareness Month, and to participate we are delving into some lesser-known facts that you might not know.

14 facts about dementia

1.       There are over 100 diseases that can cause dementia. The most common causes include Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease.

2.       More than 447,000 Australians are currently living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, this number is expected to increase to 580,000 in less than a decade.

3.       Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians.

4.       Dementia is not one specific disease, but instead describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Dementia affects a person’s thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks.

5.       Alzheimer’s Disease, one of the most common causes of dementia, is named after a German doctor called Alois Alzheimer who first observed and described a patient with memory loss and other problems with thinking in 1906.

6.       There is currently no cure for dementia.

7.       Dementia is a condition which has been recorded in people for hundreds of years! However, it was a relatively rare occurrence prior to the 20th century, as the life expectancy was much lower and hardly anyone lived to old age in pre-industrial society.

8.       Having diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65%, according to a recent study. With careful management of diabetes this risk can be reduced, via medications that maintain blood glucose levels within a healthy range.

9.       Dementia is a disease symptom, and is not a normal part of ageing.

10.   Most cases of dementia are not inherited.

11.   Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks, who became famous after she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person, had struggled with dementia for years before dying of natural causes at age 92.

12.   Other celebrities who have suffered with dementia include comedian Robin Williams, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and American actor Gene Wilder.

13.   The first signs of dementia are not immediately obvious since they can be subtle, and can include confusion, personality change, apathy and withdrawal, frequent memory loss and losing the ability to perform everyday tasks.

14.   Education can lower your risk. According to the National Institute on Aging, you can reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease by keeping your brain active in old age via methods such as taking classes on any subject, learning a new language, brain training games and playing a musical instrument.

Access quality dementia and aged care support with Like Family

If you're seeking support for someone with dementia - Like Family may be exactly what you need. We're an NDIS-registered provider on a mission to end social isolation and loneliness due to illness, disability or ageing.

Our highly vetted support workers can help people with dementia increase their independence via activities like grocery shopping, meal preparation, transportation and arts & craft. We aim to match you with the right support worker, not just any support worker.

Plus, you can use your Home Care Package to access our support services!

Head to our website to learn more about Like Family and how we can help you or a loved one today.