Dementia set to surge 350%

THE number of people suffering from dementia in Northern NSW is expected to increase by more than 350 per cent over the next 40 years.

A new report released by Alzheimer's Australia predicts people retiring on the coast will drive the rapid increase.

“The figures are no real surprise,” Ballina MP Don Page said.

Ballina's populaover 65 exceeds the State average by about 40 per cent, he said.

“We have to work harder to find the causes of dementia,” Mr Page said.

“Places like the North Coast will need more facilities and resources.”

The Tweed was predicted to be home to the largest number of dementia sufferers in NSW, with 7451 expected to be living in the local government area by 2050.

Ballina is ranked 14 from 93 electorates across the state.

According to a report prepared by Access Economics for Alzheimer's Australia, there were currently 1090 suffers of dementia residing within the Ballina local government area. However, an expected increase of almost 326pc by 2050 would see 4641 dementia sufferers living in the area.

The Clarence was ranked 17, with an expected increase of 323pc.

Lismore was ranked 39, with an expected increase of 306pc.

“Dementia is the disease of the century and it is going to have a huge impact on the health and social welfare system,” chief executive of Alzheimer's Australia NSW John Watkins said.

Mr Watkins said a heavy burden would befall regional NSW which generally does not receive the same level of service as the city.

NSW Minister for Health Carmel Tebbutt said the report would assist in the planning of dementia specific services through metropolitan and regional NSW.

“It is important to know where the growth areas will be so we can continue to plan for services in the areas of greatest need,” she said.

ARE WE PREPARED FOR THE INCREASE? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948

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