Dementia - one of the biggest impacts, yet the least understood

Friday 2 October 2015

As the second leading cause of death after heart disease, dementia is one of the Australia’s biggest, yet least understood conditions - with over 70 per cent of us admitting that we know very little about the disease. A quarter of Australians believe dementia is just a normal part of ageing and sadly, almost half of the population do not realise that dementia is fatal.[1]

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, supported by ExxonMobil Australia, has released a powerful public education campaign for the month of October to present the facts about dementia, raise awareness of the condition and ensure people understand it is a serious brain disease.

As an extension of the recent television campaign during Dementia Awareness Month in September, the print advertisements aim to educate Australians about the impact that dementia has on the lives of the estimated 342,000 people living with dementia, their families and carers.

‘It is important for the community to understand the facts and also for everyone to know that they are not alone, that there are support services available,’ Maree McCabe CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said.

‘Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is here to provide support and information about the services available and to educate the community, health and aged care sectors, about dementia.  The greater the level of knowledge and awareness the more likely that all people impacted, including their families and carers, can live well with dementia,’ Ms McCabe said.

‘With this campaign we are excited about the opportunity to support Alzheimer’s Australia Vic in educating the general public about dementia and the range of support services and programs available,’ said Lisa Trood, Community Relations Manager, ExxonMobil Australia.

‘ExxonMobil is delighted to provide continued financial support to Alzheimer’s Australia Vic to run community awareness campaigns,’ Ms Trood said.

‘This initiative has been made possible by a generous contribution from ExxonMobil,’ Ms McCabe said.  

 ‘The public perception of dementia is greatly at odds with the reality of the disease. A greater understanding of this disease will help to effect change. Even a small change in levels of understanding in the community can make a big difference in the life of someone who is living with dementia.’

Our aim for the campaign, along with ExxonMobil, is to make a difference to the lives of all people living with dementia, their families and carers,’ Ms McCabe said.

Advertisements will appear in The Age, Herald Sun, Leader newspapers and on suburban billboards.

To view the full campaign visit

- ENDS -

Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

Supporting Facts:

There are more than 342,800 people currently living with dementia in Australia - roughly double the population of Geelong. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people diagnosed with dementia is set to soar, with almost 900,000 people expected to be affected by 2050 – that’s around 1 in 50 Australians.

In Victoria more than 81,000 people are living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit

Media contacts:

Christine Bolt 9816 5772 / 0400 004 553 / or

Stephanie Puls 9816 5745 / 0427 757 434 /

High resolution files available on request.



[1] Alzheimer’s Australia, ISPOS study, 2012