Dementia cases could triple in NZ by 2050

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Campaigners are calling for better understanding of dementia as new figures reveal the number of cases could triple in New Zealand by 2050.

Bupa and Alzheimer's New Zealand said dementia already affected about 50,000 people, and the number would only rise as the population grew.

Catherine Hall, Alzheimer's New Zealand executive director, said it was "critical that we are well positioned to meet the needs of the growing number of people affected by dementia".

"Although there is currently no cure, there is help available to help people affected by dementia," she said.

"In 2012 we launched the Alzheimer's NZ We Can Help campaign to encourage people to see their doctor so they can get they help they need, and to build public understanding of dementia, [and] awareness of the services and support available to people affected by dementia.

"This new charter is another action that will help people understand the impact that dementia has, and the type of care and support people affected by dementia need so that they can still live a satisfying and enjoyable life."

The 10 points of the global ADI/Bupa charter are:

1. I should have access to a doctor to check if I have dementia.
2. I should have access to information about dementia so I know how it will affect me.
3. I should be helped to live independently for as long as I can.
4. I should have a say in the care and support that I am given.
5. I should have access to high-quality care that's right for me.
6. I should be treated as an individual, with those looking after me knowing about my life.
7. I should be respected for who I am.
8. I should have access to medicine and treatment that helps me.
9. My end of life wishes should be discussed with me while I can still make decisions.
10. I want my family and friends to have fond memories of me.

- APNZ

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