ExxonMobil helps create urgency around dementia in new awareness campaign for the festive season

Thursday 15 December 2016

Dementia is Australia’s second leading cause of death after heart disease. It’s one of Australia’s biggest, yet least understood conditions - with over 70 per cent of Australians admitting that they know very little about the disease. What’s more, almost half of the population do not realise that dementia is fatal. In fact, a quarter of us believe that it is just a normal part of ageing.

ExxonMobil Australia has generously supported Alzheimer’s Australia Vic in an important public health advertising campaign for those impacted by dementia, particularly around the festive season.

Leanne Wenig Acting CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said the symptoms of dementia often develop gradually, and subtle changes are usually more noticeable after long periods apart.

“As the holiday season approaches, it is an opportunity to spend time with loved ones but it can also be a time where people may notice changes in a relative such as memory loss, confusion about time and place, difficulties performing familiar tasks,  problems with language, misplacing things or changes in personality,” Ms Wenig said.

The concept of the campaign, Be Merry, but Mindful of Dementia, is to raise awareness about the services and resources Alzheimer’s Australia Vic provides to the Victorian community, raise awareness of the National Dementia Helpline and encourage people to call and seek assistance if they are worried about their memory or that of a loved one and to… be merry, but mindful of dementia, around the Christmas and holiday period.

ExxonMobil will also utilise the campaign to inform their employees and communities of the support and services Alzheimer’s Australia Vic provides for all people living with dementia in Victoria, their families, friends and carers.

"ExxonMobil Australia is pleased to support Alzheimer’s Australia Vic efforts to raise awareness about dementia this festive season, including the changes we notice in our family, friends or colleagues and the steps we can take to limit our risk of developing dementia," said Dr Marcus Hirschfield, Occupational Health Manager, ExxonMobil Australia.

The campaign will highlight Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s new resource, The Dementia Guide. The Guide is an essential tool for anyone impacted by dementia, including people living with the condition, families, friends and carers. The Dementia Guide offers information on support services, tips on how to live well with dementia and making plans for the future.

"We are proud to be partnering up with an organisation like ExxonMobil.  With their support, they are helping us raise awareness about dementia, help support families in need and enable us to give people a greater understanding about an important issue that affects so many Australians.

“The holiday season is a great time for friends and families to come together and celebrate, but also to be mindful of people around us who may be living with dementia.

“With 97,000 Victorians currently living with dementia, it is essential for the community to know Dementia Australia Vic is here for all Victorians impacted by dementia.

“I encourage anyone with any concerns, or even if you just want to ask a few questions, to call the National Dementia Helpline, 1800 100 500, for a chat,”  Ms Wenig said.

The print campaign will appear in The Age, Herald Sun and selected regional and suburban publications. Be Merry, but Mindful of Dementia will be supported by Facebook and Google Adwords campaigns into the New Year.

To download or order a copy of the free The Dementia Guide visit vic.fightdementia.org.au/the-dementia-guide to view the campaign visit vic.fightdementia.org.au/exxonmobil.

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Notes to media

Please avoid the use of the word 'sufferers' or 'suffering'. Consumers prefer to be referred to as people/a person living with dementia.

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our free National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - 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.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 97,000 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 386,000 by 2050. Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity and peak body representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. We provide specialised dementia information, education and support services. Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic

Media Contacts: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au, Travis Parnaby, ExxonMobil 0467 794 893 travis.j.parnaby@exxonmobil.com

1.Ipsos research commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia in 2012