Dementia

Dementia is the name given to a set of medical signs and symptoms caused by diseases that affect how the brain works.

Dementia is more than just memory loss. It can also affect thinking, behaviour, communication and the ability to carry out daily tasks.

In 2016, NCPHN surveyed the community and clinicians to understand more about the needs of our communities.  One of our priority areas was older people and the findings are presented in the 2016 Older Person Health Check.

Dementia is more than just memory loss. It can also affecting thinking, behaviour, communication and the ability carry out daily tasks.

If experiencing changes with any of these abilities, it is good to see your GP early. Diagnosing dementia will require further investigations and may take some time. Referral to a medical specialist such as a Geriatrician may also be required.

Worried about your memory?

Feeling forgetful or confused? Finding out if there’s a problem is the first step to getting help.

Changes in memory have a number of possible causes that may include stress, depression, pain, chronic illness, medication or alcohol… and sometimes it is an early sign of dementia.

If you or someone you know is concerned has memory concerns, it is best to speak to a doctor about it or call:

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500 (An interpreter service is available).

An estimated 413,106 Australians are living with dementia, including 25,938 with younger onset dementia (below the age of 65). Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is a chronic, progressive and terminal disease.

Dementia is the leading cause of age related cognitive decline (Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, 2016), however other causes are possible, some completely reversible. Other causes can include:

  • declining hormones
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • suboptimal nutrition
  • infection
  • depression
  • social isolation
  • stress

When cognitive decline is recognised early, there are opportunities to ensure:

  • further investigation,
  • organise adequate support and monitoring to keep the person well at home avoiding hospitalisation,
  • and to offer the carer support and education about the changes that may occur over time
  • and strategies to manage such changes and for future planning.

General practice and primary care play vital roles in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, from identification and diagnosis through to the ongoing management and care of people living with dementia.

flags We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we live and work, the Bundjalung, Arakwal, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr, Githabul, Dunghutti and Birpai Nations, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future.

North Coast Primary Health Network is an Australian Government Initiative.

Australian Government PHN North Coast

Privacy Policy

flags We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we live and work, the Bundjalung, Arakwal, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr, Githabul, Dunghutti and Birpai Nations, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future.