An ageing population is leading to a growing number of people living with dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms including memory impairment, confusion, and loss of ability to carry out everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and causes a progressive decline in brain health.
Dementia affects more than 425,000 Australians. It is the second-ranked cause of death overall, and the leading cause in women.
The main risk factor for dementia is older age. Around 30% of people aged over 85 live with dementia. Genetic influences also play a role in the onset of the disease, but these are stronger for rarer types of dementia such as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Although we can’t change our age or genetic profile, there are nevertheless several lifestyle changes we can make that will reduce our dementia risk.