Dementia services to improve

THE quality and availability of services for people living with dementia are set to improve on the Coffs Coast with the launch of a new Dementia Action Plan.

The plan, which has backing from Alzheimer's Australia NSW and the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, will identify priorities to ensure people living with dementia and their carers maintain a healthy lifestyle within the community.

An information session was held in Coffs and included a presentation by Michele Adair, general manager of Alzheimer's Australia NSW.

The session touched on the opportunity to establish working groups to identify gaps in service delivery, availability of services and the types of services on the Coffs Coast.

It's a pertinent issue if statistics are anything to go by.

More than 74,000 people have dementia in NSW, and Alzheimer's Australia NSW chief executive, Bill Northcote, said this number is predicted to triple to more than 222,000 by 2050.

“While there is still no cure for dementia, a growing body of medical evidence has found it may be possible to reduce the risk of developing dementia or at least delay the onset,” Mr Northcote said.

Dementia Awareness Week runs until September 26, and this year Alzheimer's Australia NSW is promoting its Mind Your Mind program to increase awareness about how people in NSW may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Dementia is a general term for more than 100 conditions causing progressive deterioration in thinking, memory and everyday abilities.

An information session on Mind Your Mind will be held in Coffs Harbour today at the meeting room at the Botanical Gardens from 2pm.

For more information call the National Dementia Hotline on 1800 100 500 or go to www.alzheimers.org.au.



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