Mental HealthAlzheimer’s in Australia: 10 Interesting Statistics & Facts

The average life expectancy for Aussies is on the increase, which is good news because it means our loving parents and grandparents remain with us for greater lengths of time. However, a downside to this new longevity is that as Aussies get older, they become more susceptible to certain diseases, conditions and ailments. One of which is Alzheimer’s.

Affecting millions of people around the world and a significant part of the Australian population, Alzheimer’s is a horrible, mind-robbing disease. As well as the individual sufferer, it takes a huge toll on families and potentially will even place an extra strain on Australia’s healthcare system over the next few years if measures are put in place to manage it.

There are lots of statistics and facts that back this up, which we have put together in this article, with the aim of raising further awareness about this debilitating condition and inspiring people to take steps to reduce its prevalence.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease was first identified in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. But even now, almost 120 years later, the condition remains shrouded in mystery. For instance, no one has been able to say with any degree of certainty what the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is, although most experts believe it to be a consequence of lifestyle and environmental factors. What is known is that it is a progressive neurological disorder which causes those who suffer from it to have abnormal protein structures, such as beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles accumulating in the brain.

Sadly, Alzheimer’s disease is a condition with no cure. Over time, it leads to a gradual decline in cognitive functions like memory, reasoning and communication skills. This is because the normal functioning of the sufferers nerve cells gets disrupted to the point where they lose connections with one another and ultimately die. As a result, it gradually erodes their ability to perform daily tasks and engage in meaningful interactions.

At present, treatment options tend to focus on managing a person’s symptoms and improving their quality of life.

Alzheimer’s Stats and Facts

1. Prevalence of Alzheimer’s in Australia

According to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), over 400,000 Australians were living with dementia in 2021, with Alzheimer’s being the predominant form of the disease. By 2030, this figure is estimated to rise to about 2030.

Their findings highlight the urgent need to implement strategies to improve early detection rates. Efforts also need to be made to make intervention strategies more effective and provide adequate support and care for those affected by the condition.

 2. Increasing Risk with Age

Research suggests that once you get past the age of 65, your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s roughly doubles every five years. This is backed up by stats that suggest 17% of people aged 75-84 have the condition, as opposed to 32% of people aged over 85.

So, with Australia’s average life expectancy set to increase, it is important to focus attention on implementing strategies to prevent it and reduce it. If not, the potential strain on the country’s healthcare system could be very significant.

3. Help for Carers

For the 1.6 million Aussies who care for a loved one with dementia, it can be physically and emotionally taxing. Caregivers often grapple with high levels of stress, emotional exhaustion, and financial strain. So it is important for authorities to provide support to help them cope with the demands of doing so.

As more people are expected to succumb to Alzheimer’s in the coming years, there is an increasing need for comprehensive support systems to be put in place. Caregivers have to deal with unique challenges they are not professionally equipped to deal with. So they need all the help they can get.

4. Genetic Predisposition

While age remains the primary risk factor, it seems genetics play a part in how likely we are to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that at least one-third of dementia cases in Australia had a genetic predisposition to the condition. So it follows that individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s may face an elevated risk of developing the disease.

For this reason, early diagnosis and intervention are crucial – which is why research into these areas and targeted prevention strategies need to be prioritised.

5. Gender-Based Disparities

An interesting statistic reveals that women have twice as much of a chance of developing Alzheimer’s in their lifetime than men. No one is quite sure why this gender disparity arises, although some experts believe the discrepancy is due to biological, hormonal, and socio-economic factors.

Research as to why this neurodegenerative disease affects women more than men is ongoing, looking at factors such as hormonal changes and genetic predispositions, to develop a greater understanding of the condition.

6. Impact on Australia’s Healthcare System

If, as expected, people do live longer on average in Australia, it will mean that the cost of treating Alzheimer’s will naturally increase. For this reason, policymakers need to focus on developing more cost-effective treatment and care strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), some $15 billion was spent on dementia-related healthcare in 2021 and this figure is expected to rise in 2025 to about $18.7 billion.

Should a jump in costs continue at this rate, it could place a significant strain on the country’s healthcare system.

7. Government Initiatives and Research Funding

In recent times, the Australian government has demonstrated a significant commitment to tackling this debilitating neurodegenerative disease. In 2018-19, some $3.0 billion of all expenditures within the aged care and direct health system were believed to have been spent on diagnosing, treating, and caring for people suffering from dementia.

In addition, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has allocated substantial funds to various research projects aimed at further understanding the complexities of Alzheimer’s.

At the end of the day, an ongoing financial commitment to research funding will be vital for finding breakthroughs in the prevention, treatment, and management of Alzheimer’s disease. So the more government initiatives and research funding there are the better.

8. Global Collaboration in Alzheimer’s Research

Alzheimer’s is not just an Australian disease. Some 55 million people around the world suffer from it in some way, shape or form.

For this reason, an integrated, international approach to Alzheimer’s is beneficial. Thankfully, Australia has collaborated with several experts and research institutions around the world in an attempt to gain valuable insights into the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that influence and trigger Alzheimer’s.

By sharing data, resources and expertise, progress should be accelerated in the fight to find a cure for this pervasive neurodegenerative disorder.

9. Advancements in Early Detection Techniques

Knowledge and treatment strategies, especially with regard to early detection, have come a long way since the turn of the century.

For instance, cutting-edge imaging technologies, including positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are now regularly utilised. They give medical professionals unprecedented insights into structural and functional changes that occur in the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

In addition, researchers are exploring Biomarkers, such as proteins or molecules indicative of Alzheimer’s pathology to enable more accurate and timely diagnosis. There is also a trend for consuming drinks for memory with products like Souvenaid as that has been clinically proven to slow down memory and cognitive decline by up to 60%.

Technological advancements such as these give hope to millions of people around the world as they pave the way for earlier and more reliable diagnoses. They also open up plenty of new possibilities for interventions and treatments.

10. The Rise of Dementia-Friendly Communities

A big help for those caring for those suffering from Alzheimer’s has been the rise of dementia-friendly communities. This invaluable network provides them with understanding, empathy and support, which is a vital resource in helping them cope with the role.

The older the Australian population gets, the greater need there will be for communities such as these that recognise and support the unique challenges faced by those looking after individuals with dementia. Crucially, they give these people the feeling of security, knowing they don’t have to deal with the situation alone.

It is important that businesses, healthcare providers and community organisations help with funding and to raise awareness of these communities, to help those who need them.


In Australia, the likely prevalence of Alzheimer’s in our society is something we need to be mindful of as the average life expectancy gets longer.

Subsequently, diagnosing, treating and caring for those with Alzheimer’s should be a primary concern for policymakers, researchers and the government over the next decade and beyond.

As there is no cure for this debilitating condition, there is plenty of work to do. However, with a concerted effort, increased funding and greater education, the odds of finding one should significantly increase.

This is a sponsored post

Leave your vote

1 point
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 1

Upvotes: 1

Upvotes percentage: 100.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Digital Health Buzz!

Digital Health Buzz!

Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hey there!

Sign in

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register


Processing files…