Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mackay Dementia Rates Set to Triple; 1566 Residents Have It: Study

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mackay Dementia Rates Set to Triple; 1566 Residents Have It: Study

Article excerpt

Byline: Sherele Moody Sherele.Moody@newsregionalmedia.com.au

MACKAY'S dementia rate is expected to triple over the next four decades, costing our region about $168.3million a year.

Experts say simple lifestyle changes would drastically reduce the cost that is about $35,550 a year for each patient.

NewsRegional analysis of Alzheimer's Australia data shows about 1566 Mackay residents have dementia and that figure is expected to reach 4736 by 2056.

Economic modelling reveals the disease currently costs our region about $55.6million a year and this will hit $168.3 million in 39 years.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in our country.

University of Canberra research shows if Australia can reduce the number of people with the disease by 5%, the country would save $120 billion by 2046.

"A whole-of-community approach to risk reduction, and better coordinated care, along with a boost to research, is going to be needed if we are to curb the rise in people living with dementia by 2056," UC National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) Professor Laurie Brown said.

Alzheimer's Australia national CEO Maree McCabe said getting more Mackay residents to reassess their diet and exercise levels would help reduce the disease locally.

"Dementia has a significant impact on the economy and there are also significant personal and social impacts," Ms McCabe said.

"The main way to lower the cost is reduction and prevention.

"There is evidence that diet and exercise are important in reducing your risk of getting dementia.

"We know that if we can delay the onset of dementia by just five years there would be millions of people who would ... never get dementia."

OzCare Queensland provides services across regional, rural and metropolitan centres. …

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