AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Dementia is not a single specific condition. Rather, it is an umbrella term that describes a syndrome associated with more than 100 different conditions which are characterised by the impairment of brain functions, including language, memory, perception, personality and cognitive skills. Although the type and severity of symptoms and their pattern of development varies with the type of dementia, it is usually of gradual onset, progressive in nature and irreversible.
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing, although the great majority of people with dementia are older people. Many diseases can cause dementia, the most common being Alzheimer disease. Other common forms include Vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia (including Pick disease) and mixed forms of dementia.
In the early stages of the condition, close family and friends may notice symptoms such as memory loss and difficulties with finding familiar words, but the casual observer may not notice any symptoms. In the mid-stages, difficulties may be experienced with familiar tasks, such as shopping, driving or handling money. In the latter stages, difficulties extend to basic or core activities of daily living, such as self-care activities, including eating, bathing and dressing.
On 10 August 2012, the Australian Health Ministers recognised dementia as the ninth National Health Priority Area.
The Hospital Dementia Services Project (HDS Project) is an NHMRC-funded project which is looking at outcomes for people with dementia admitted to NSW hospitals. Findings from this project have been published in several journal articles and AIHW reports available from the HDS web page above.
Alzheimer's Australia with funding from the JO & JR Wicking Trust commissioned AIHW to explore the costs of hospital care for people with dementia. The costing work uses data from the Hospitals Dementia Services Project and innovative methods, building on previous work in this area, to estimate the cost of caring for people with dementia in New South Wales public hospitals. The report also presents a wide range strategies and practices being implemented in Australia and internationally that aim to both reduce the costs of care and improve the care experience for people with dementia and their families.
The average cost of hospital care for people with dementia in NSW public hospitals during 2006-07 was generally higher than for people without dementia ($7,720 compared with $5,010 per episode). The total cost of hospital care was estimated to be $462 million, of which around $162 million may be associated with dementia. The full report was published in March 2013 and is available free to download.
The AIHW reports on dementia in many aged care publications.