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Intouch : In Touch Issue 75
Feature www.alzheimers.org.au In touch Summer 2010 13 conditions and may be treatable; in those cases where it is dementia, a timely diagnosis is one of the first steps to understanding and managing the condition. We need more education for GPs and other health professionals and better support through assessment, diagnosis and ongoing management. "Every GP, practice nurse and other health professionals working in the area should have a copy of No time like the present to act as a reference point for further clarification or to refresh their memory about the common issues with timely dementia diagnosis." The CEO of AlzNSW, The Hon. John Watkins, said the release of the World Alzheimer's Report 2010 is yet another wake-up call for governments around the world to develop comprehensive plans to combat dementia. These plans should include action on issues such as timely diagnosis and awareness, as well as access to dementia services, and research into prevention, cause and cure. "The World Alzheimer's Report 2010 estimates the costs of dementia worldwide at US$604 billion, which is more than the annual revenue of Wal-Mart, one of the world's largest companies, at US$414 billion," John said. "Australia laid a basis for action on dementia in the 2005 Dementia Initiative but there is an urgent need to address new health and care priorities as the numbers of Australians with dementia grow at an ever increasing rate. "About 257,000 Australians have dementia today and this is set to escalate to almost one million by 2050. We only have a short window of opportunity to act." For more information on memory loss, contact the National Dementia Helpline. T: 1800 100 500 National TV Campaign Alzheimer's Australia has, for the first time, launched a national television advertising campaign. It urges people with concerns about their memory to seek help. Called There's a difference, the advertisement explains the differences between what is considered 'normal' memory loss that may happen with age and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The advertisements were screened during prime time over two weeks in September on the Seven Network. With more than 250,000 Australians already estimated to be living with dementia, and with the ageing population set to see that figure rise to almost one million people by 2050, AlzNSW CEO The Hon. John Watkins believes it is more important than ever that people know the warning signs and get help. "If the symptoms are caused by dementia, getting a timely diagnosis is important in helping to get the right information, treatment and support. As well, it gives people an opportunity to plan ahead and make decisions about their future care and finances," John said. "It is also important for people to understand the difference between normal memory loss and dementia." Alzheimer's Australia engaged the services of international branding agency, Interbrand, to create the ad and help promote the message. "It's not often that we get to use our creative skills for a community cause," says Chris Maclean, Creative Director at Interbrand Australia. "Our creativity wasn't limited and we created a visually stunning ad that speaks to a genuine insight." "It is important for people to understand the difference between normal memory loss and dementia." "Early diagnosis is important in helping to get the right support, information and treatment. Some medications are also at their most beneficial in the early stages of dementia." Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing The Hon. Mark Butler
In Touch Issue 74
In Touch Issue 76