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Mind

Hundreds of Aussies are being diagnosed with dementia every day – are you at risk?

The rising number of Aussies living with this condition is alarming.

By Ellie McDonald
FACT: more than 425,000 Aussies are living with [dementia]
(New research from Dementia Australia, as reported by the ABC, prefer to recognise the number of people developing the condition over those who are diagnosed, because so many dementia cases go undiagnosed.
"By 2056 without a medical breakthrough, we'll have around 1.1 million [people living with dementia] and there won't be anybody in Australia who won't be impacted in some way," she says, adding that by pinpointing how many people are impacted by dementia, others can be informed of the myriad ways of dealing with it.
When it comes to the effects dementia can have on someone living with it, Kiwi-born grandmother Gillian Bennett knew its signs and symptoms all too well.
"Every day I lose bits of myself," she wrote on her website titled Dead At Noon."It's obvious that I am heading towards the state 
that all dementia patients eventually get to: not knowing who I am and requiring full-time care."
Jonathan & Gillian—2014. Image credit: Dead at Noon
However, as Dementia Australia advocate, by diagnosing this condition as early as possible enables medical experts to equip you with the information and means of

Dementia signs and symptoms

Dementia can take several years to develop. It is often categorised as mild (early stage), moderate (mid stage) and advanced (late stage).
Symptoms include:
• Cognitive impairment: problems with memory, communication, comprehension and ability to recognise familiar objects and people
• Psychiatric or behavioural symptoms: severe depression, delusions and hallucinations (visual and auditory), and increased aimless wandering, agitation and confusion
• Dysfunction in daily living activities: in the earlier stages of dementia, the ability to perform routine tasks such as shopping may be disrupted. Dementia in the later stages can affect the ability to perform more basic tasks such as dressing, showering and eating.

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