Dozens of community members, including a number of Oakleigh Grammar students, attended a public education event on dementia, held at the school’s premises today.
The joint initiative of Fronditha and the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia (HMSA), brought together a panel of medical experts and service providers to share their insights on the disease, on a day marking the conclusion of Dementia Action week (16-22 September).
Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos was a keynote speaker of the event, with presentations delivered in the Greek language.
“Congratulations to the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia, Fronditha Care & Oakleigh Grammar on organising a forum to discuss the impact of dementia in the Greek community. I know that language can act as a significant barrier to people getting the support they need, ” Ms Mikakos posted on social media upon the event’s conclusion.
The panel of experts included General Practitioner Dr. Nick Roubos, Consultant Psychiatrist and Unit Head at Monash Health’s Aged Mental Health Services Dr. Chris Plakiotis, Consultant Psychiatrist and HMSA’s secretary Dr. Arthur Kokkinias and Fronditha’s Clinical Care Coordinator Ms Georgia Tzempetzis.
Inevitably, among the topics discussed at the forum was the impact of dementia not only on patients but also their families and carers.
Stastistics sourced from Australia Dementia’s website help put the issue into perspective.
It is estimated that every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia, with the disease affecting almost 50 million people around the globe.
The disease is the second leading cause of death in Australia, while in 2016 dementia became the number one cause of death of Australian women, surpassing heart disease.
Currently, over 447,000 are estimated to be living with dementia, and without a medical breakthrough numbers are expected to increase to over 1 million people by 2058!
As highlighted during the event, migrant groups including older Greek Australians are among those mostly affected by the disease with the large predicted increase in dementia numbers translating to an increased demand and need for culture and language appropriate services.
For information in Greek, education and support services, visit Dementia Australia’s website on www.dementia.org.au.
For queries and advice call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500