There are many common misconceptions about dementia. One of the most common is that Alzheimer’s disease is not dementia. We have heard people say “I don’t mind if it’s Alzheimer’s disease, as long as it is not dementia”.
People also believe that dementia is an inevitable part of growing old. But dementia is not a natural consequence of ageing. Most older people do not develop dementia. Approximately 5% of people over 65 have dementia. This number rises with increasing age to 20% of people over the age of 80.
It isn’t true that nothing can be done about dementia. A great deal can be done. Accurate and early diagnosis of the condition provides access to supports and services and practical information about living with a diagnosis and managing symptoms. This in turn can prevent crises and improve the quality of life of the person with dementia and their family carers.
You can learn more from the National Dementia websites