While there are several advantages of intergenerational models of care for both older folks in general as well as younger children, the multitude of benefits of practising models of intergenerational care especially for older folks living with cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia) and those who live alone within our communities cannot be understated or forgotten. Keeping this in mind, we provide key statistics on dementia in Australia obtained from Dementia Australia that may be of use to you and highlight the significance of this project and the urgent need for other options and innovations in Aged Care.

General Dementia Statistics

  • In 2016, the estimated number of people living in Australia with dementia was 400,833– 178,169 (44.4%) males and 222,664 (55.6%) females.
  • The annual growth rate in the prevalence of dementia for males is 3.8% and for females 2.5%. These numbers are projected to increase to 184,868 males (44.8%) and 228,238 females (55.2%) in 2017 giving the total number of persons with dementia in 2017 at 413,106 persons.
  • Over the next 20 years, the total number of people in Australia living with dementia is expected to increase by 90% to 760,672 and by 2.75 fold to 1, 100, 890 by 2056.
  • By 2056, the number of people living with dementia in Australia is 2.75 fold to 1,100,890 by 2056. Although the number of younger people with dementia will continue to increase over the years, it is in the older age groups where the highest growth in numbers of people living with dementia will occur.
  • For example, the number of males aged 80-84 years who will have dementia in 2036 will be 2.2 fold higher than now, and for those aged 85+ years 2.4 fold higher. By 2056 there will be three times the number of males aged 80-84 years with dementia and four times the number for those aged 85+ years. These figures mean that by the year 2036, almost 78% of persons with dementia in Australia will be aged 75 years and above, and by 2056, 80%. In 40 years’ time, 45 of every 100 persons with dementia will be aged 85 years and over.

The ramifications of these statistics

The numbers above have major ramifications in terms of the needs for, provision and costs of care for older folks living with dementia in Australia.

  • Currently, dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia
  • Dementia is also the leading cause of disability burden within Australia
  • As a leading cause of death and burden of disease, the demand dementia places on health and aged care services is expected to increase considerably In Australia
  • Dementia has been identified as one of the major reasons why older people enter residential aged care or seek assistance from community care programmes within Australia
  • Home and Community Care is the largest community care programme in Australia. It provides services designed to support frail aged people to live independently at home, thereby enhancing their quality of life and delaying institutionalisation
  • In 2009-10, there were 893, 224 HACC clients across Australia, 83% of whom were aged 60 and over
  • Estimates from the Department of Health and Aging indicate that in 2009-10, at least $164.4 million of HACC funds were attributable to dementia

For more recent information and cost updates on dementia related expenses, visit https://www.dementia.org.au/files/NATIONAL/documents/The-economic-cost-of-dementia-in-Australia-2016-to-2056.pdf