Dementia Awareness

What is dementia?

Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. There are many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body disease.

They are all diseases of the brain which may result in practical difficulties with:

  • Remembering things
  • Completing everyday tasks, such as handling money
  • Communication, such as language or word finding
  • Perception

Dementia is a progressive disease with mild symptoms in the early stages of the disease which generally worsen over time. Dementia affects everyone differently, and in fact, not everyone you meet living with dementia may have any visible symptoms. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65.

In 2018, dementia affects an estimated 436,000 Australians with this number set to rise to almost 1.1 Million by 2058. In Northern Sydney there was a projected growth of 23% in the population of people aged 75 years and older between 2011 and 2021, indicating a substantial increase in the number of people with dementia in the region.

Hornsby Shire Council Dementia Friendly Community Vision

Hornsby Shire Council has recognised it has an ageing community – with statistically higher population than the Sydney average in every age category over 40 years of age. Many of our older population are living with or caring for someone with dementia. In 2018 Council resolved to become a Dementia Friendly Community.

In order to address this important issue Council has joined the Northern Sydney Dementia Collaborative. Council will consult with the collaborative to work towards becoming a dementia friendly community.

Our vision is to create a dementia friendly community where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. Council will achieve this by increasing community awareness, providing education, sharing information, reducing stigma and increasing social inclusion for people who have dementia.

Dementia Help Sheets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

For those from different linguistic backgrounds please find information in your language, visit