New program to get older Australians more active may reduce risk of dementia

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Dementia Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of $22.9 million towards the Move It Aus Better Ageing Grants, which will focus on helping inactive people aged 65 and older to become more physically active and socially connected.

Dementia Australia Executive Director of Business Development, Leanne Emerson, said she is very positive about the move which will benefit hundreds of thousands of senior Australians in coming years, including the people over 65 who are living with dementia.

There are currently more than 436,000 Australians living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is estimated to more than double by 2058 to almost 1.1 million.

"While there are some risk factors for dementia we can’t control, such as genetics or age, many risk factors can be modified through lifestyle changes.

"There is strong evidence that regular physical activity is associated with better brain function and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

"Social engagement has also been found to contribute to building brain reserve which then contributes to a lower dementia risk," said Ms Emerson.

The successful organisations will provide a wide range of opportunities, from simple exercise classes to adapted programs in traditional sports.

"By providing new exciting and engaging activities, this government initiative will hopefully work to reduce the growing numbers of people diagnosed with dementia by promoting healthy behaviours known to be associated with lower dementia risk.

"Programs like this are essential as they put services into place that will assist people to live well for longer."

For further information about the grants go to http://bit.ly/DeptofHealth

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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 436,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.

National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500

Interpreter service available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

www.dementia.org.au

Media contacts: Gabrielle Prabhu 0447 253 583 Gabrielle.Prabhu@dementia.org.au

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.