Dementia Australia Ambassadors singer-songwriter Mark Seymour and actor Takaya Honda today joined Dementia Advocates Jody Freeman, Sandra Erickson and James Nelson and Professor Colin Masters AO at the Dementia Awareness Month Small actions Big difference Roadshow event in Melbourne.
Dementia Awareness Month is Dementia Australia’s national awareness-raising campaign held every year.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said there were more than 425,000 Australians living with dementia – more than 100,000 of which are estimated to be living in Victoria. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of death of women, yet awareness of the condition remains extremely low.
“People living with dementia tell us they can find it challenging to participate actively in the community due, in part, to a lack of knowledge or understanding of dementia among the general public and how it can impact people,” Ms McCabe said.
“That’s why at our Small actions Big difference Roadshow event we are hearing directly from people with dementia and our Ambassadors, who have been impacted by dementia, about the small actions that can create a big difference for people living with dementia and how, with compassion and understanding you can positively change the life of someone living with dementia.”
Professor Colin Masters AO, Head of the Neurodegeneration Division at The Florey Institute, spoke about Getting a grip on Alzheimer’s disease.
The audience was then treated to a Q & A style panel with Jody Freeman, Sandra Erickson, James Nelson and Dementia Australia Ambassadors Mark Seymour and Takaya Honda. Mark Seymour finished the event performing Classrooms and Kitchens, the song he wrote as a tribute to his mother Paula.
Ms McCabe said this year’s Dementia Awareness Month was all about empowering the community to make a positive difference to the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers through increased awareness and support.
“During Dementia Awareness Month, we are also inviting the community to pledge their support by becoming a Dementia Friend,” she said.
“Becoming a Dementia Friend makes you aware of the small, everyday actions you can do to support people living with dementia to remain included, accepted and connected within their community.
“Through the Dementia Friends program, we want to transform the way we, as a community, think, act and talk about dementia.
“All you need to do is head to www.dementiafriendly.org.au and watch three short videos that explain what dementia is and feature interviews with people impacted by dementia.
“Join us and thousands of others who have already signed up. Start making a difference today.”
Download the Dementia Awareness Month media kit to access key messages, useful information, key facts and statistics on dementia, images and suggested social media posts.
Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 425,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.