Act Now for a Dementia-Friendly Future- Dementia Action Awareness Week.

This week (18-24 September) was Dementia Action Awareness Week.

Dementia impacts close to half a million Australians and almost 1.6 million Australians are involved in their care!. The World Health Organization defines dementia as “a syndrome, which results in deterioration to cognitive function (the ability to process thought) beyond what is expected from usual consequences of ageing.”

Dementia can affect a person’s:

  • memory
  • thinking
  • behaviour
  • judgement
  • communication
  • ability to perform daily activities

It is now the leading cause of disease burden for Australians aged 65 years and older. While ageing is the biggest risk factor for dementia, it is not a normal part of ageing.

People living with dementia often experience discrimination. This campaign encourages all Australians to see the person behind the diagnosis. People living with dementia can live active and fulfilling lives many years after diagnosis.


The Department of Health and Aged Care have developed draft National guidelines following extensive consultation with older Australians, their families and carers, the aged care sector, and design and technical experts. The draft Design Principles and Guidelines include 4 design principles:

  • Enable the person
    Support people living in a place that maintains their health, wellbeing and a sense of identity.
  • Cultivate a Home
    Create a familiar environment in which people have privacy, control and feel they belong.
  • Access to Outdoors
    Support people seeing, accessing and spending time outdoors in contact with nature.
  • Connect with Community
    Encourage people to connect with family, friends and community, continuing to participate in meaningful activities.

Each principle is supported by a set of guidelines and checklists of practical changes. These can be adopted when undertaking minor refurbishments, major renovations, and constructing new aged care homes.

On a larger scale the Australian government is developing a new National Dementia Action Plan in collaboration with state and territory governments. It will provide short, medium and long-term actions over the next 10 years to improve the wellbeing and quality of life for people living with dementia, their carers and families. Public consultation on the draft plan has now closed and the final plan is intended to be published in late 2023.


Why mention Dementia week?

If not already, many of us will start experiencing the impact of dementia amongst our own family and friends in the coming years. Dementia Action Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn more about dementia and what we can do to create a more dementia-friendly future for everyone.



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