”DEMENTIA is scary and it’s real”.
Those are the thoughts of Leeton Dementia Carers Support Group facilitator Lorna Swaffield after recent figures showed there are more than 425,000 people living with dementia in Australia.
Around 250 people a day are developing dementia according to Dementia Australia, prompting calls for more awareness of the condition.
Mrs Swaffield said dementia was a horrible disease and one she wouldn’t wish on anybody.
“It’s just terrible, it’s actually so scary,” she said.
“I find it’s tough on everyone, but especially the family and friends of those who have been diagnosed.
“There is no cure and there’s also different types of dementia. It’s not as simple of just forgetting things or not remembering.
“There are definitely many sufferers in our area. It’s tough on them and their families.”
The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to climb to 536,000 by 2025 and more than 1.1 million people by 2056.
Last year, numbers from Dementia Australia showed there were about 3650 people living with dementia in the Murray and Cootamundra electorates.
Leeton is located in the Murray electorate and the number of sufferers in the area is expected to soar to 4450 people by 2025 and 7050 by 2056.
Mrs Swaffield was hopeful a cure would one day be found.
“The other part is there’s no real one way that people get dementia,” she said.
“There’s been a lot of studies on the brain, but to my knowledge that hasn’t been able to be pin pointed.”
There are some ways residents can try to avoid a dementia diagnosis, such as healthy eating, exercise and regular activity using the brain.
The Leeton support group meets on the first Monday of every month at La Fresco Caffe from 2pm.