Feeling forgetful or confused? Finding out what is wrong is the first step to getting help.
In this section, we offer help sheets on every topic, issue, and concern relating to dementia that you might need support on.
Driving is something most people take for granted. It gives us freedom, flexibility and independence. While we will all need to step out from behind the wheel one day, conditions such as dementia can mean that the decision to stop driving needs to be planned for.
Alzheimer's Australia provides a range of sensitive and flexible services to support people with any type of dementia, their families and carers throughout the illness.
Alzheimer's Australia has a wealth for information for health professionals.
Alzheimer's Australia provides courses for people with dementia and their carers, and nationally recognised courses for health and aged care personnel.
Alzheimer’s Australia is committed to contributing towards Australian dementia research.
Your help and support is vital to Alzheimer's Australia. Read more about donations.
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A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. For people with younger onset dementia, this also means being given the opportunity and support to stay at work or volunteer.
Dementia Awareness Month is held annually in September. Stay tuned for an update on Dementia Awareness Month 2015 which will be coming soon.
This section explains the term dementia, Who gets dementia? What are some of the causes? Signs? And the help available for managing dementia.
Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.
Most people with dementia are older, but it is important to remember that not all older people get dementia. It is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65 years. People in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia.
There are many different forms of dementia and each has its own causes.The most common types of dementia are; Alzheimer's disease, Vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), Huntington's disease, Alcohol related dementia (Korsakoff's syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.
There are a number of conditions that produce symptoms similar to dementia. These include some vitamin and hormone deficiencies, depression, medication clashes or overmedication, infections and brain tumours. It is essential that a medical diagnosis is obtained at an early stage when symptoms first appear to ensure that a person who has a treatable condition is diagnosed and treated correctly. If the symptoms are caused by dementia, an early diagnosis will mean early access to support, information, and medication should it be available.
This will depend on the cause of the dementia, so it is important to have a firm medical diagnosis. If there are concerns about the risk of inheriting dementia, consult your doctor or contact Alzheimer's Australia to speak to a counsellor. Most cases of dementia are not inherited.
The early signs of dementia are very subtle and vague and may not be immediately obvious. Some common symptoms may include:
At present there is no prevention or cure for most forms of dementia. However, some medications have been found to reduce some symptoms. Support is vital for people with dementia and the help of families, friends and carers can make a positive difference to managing the condition.
For a range of books and videos contact our Library. Also see our section on Help Sheets and Update Sheets.
© Alzheimer's Australia 2005Alzheimer's Australia is responsible for the content of this Help Sheet. This publication provides a general summary only of the subject matter covered. People should seek professional advice about their specific case. Alzheimer's Australia is not liable for any error or omission in this publication.