Tweed prepares for dementia rise

THE Tweed will remain one of the hardest-hit areas to be affected by dementia in New South Wales until at least mid-century, according to a new report.

The Richmond electorate, which includes the Tweed Shire, was this week named one of the top-10 Federal electorates for dementia prevalence, with 2235 cases in a report prepared for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

By 2050, it is predicted the electorate will contain the second-highest number of dementia cases in the state with 10,375 cases, a 364.3 per cent increase.

The figures were presented in Federal parliament this week.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO John Watkins said respire, support and community services need to be upgraded.

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

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

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

Across the state, the number of people with dementia is expected to quadruple from about 84,000 people to 341,000 by 2050 failing a significant medical breakthrough.

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

“These figures indicate to us that the dementia epidemic is here,” Mr Watkins said.

“Because of the ageing population, there will be significant growth in the number of people with dementia in every single electorate across the state. We need urgent action now to plan for the enormous impact dementia will have. We also need to make sure the planning for future service delivery is based on where the burden is going to fall.”

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is the peak body for people with dementia.

The Facts
  • This year, there are 935 dementia cases in men and 1300 in women in the Richmond electorate. A total of 2235.
  • By 2050, it is predicted there will be 4341 cases of dementia in men, 6034 cases of dementia in women. A total of 10,375.
  • That is a 364.3 per cent increase.

Source: Access Economics.



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