Study warns of dementia tsunami

THE Richmond and Page electorates have recorded some of the highest levels of dementia in the State, according to figures being presented to Federal Parliamentarians today.

The figures are part of a statewide study prepared for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW by Access Economics and predict that coastal regions in the State will be the areas hardest hit.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia NSW chief executive officer, John Watkins, this will place a massive strain on local resources.

“We know that historically regional areas do not generally receive the same level of service as metropolitan areas,” Mr Watkins said.

“We must plan now for the dementia tsunami that is headed straight for us.”

Richmond was rated third in the prevalence of the condition, with 2235 recorded cases; with Page fourth with 2180.

Disturbingly, the figures predicted that by 2050 Richmond will have more than 10,000 dementia sufferers.

Page is expected to have 8714 sufferers. Both would still be among the top six affected areas in the State.

Without a significant medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia in NSW is expected to quadruple from about 84,000, to 341,000 by 2050.

Nationally that figure is expected to exceed 1.13 million by 2050.

“Make no mistake, dementia will be the disease of the century and will have a huge impact on the health and social welfare system,” Mr Watkins said.

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