About Dementia and MCI
Across Australia over 200,000 people live in 2,700 aged care homes. An estimated 70-80% of these people have some form of cognitive impairment such as dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s cognition, including memory, thinking, comprehension, rationality, language, social skills and physical functioning.
There are many types of dementia- the most common ones include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body disease. Dementia Australia and Forward with Dementia provide further information about dementia.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
While some memory loss is considered by many to be a normal part of ageing, some people have greater memory problems than is normally expected, but without the loss of other cognitive functions that occurs in dementia. This is termed Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Although not everyone with MCI will develop dementia, people with MCI are more likely than the general population for develop dementia. With early intervention and rehabilitation, it is hoped that people with MCI can improve their condition or delay the progression of memory loss or changes in cognitive function.
Dementia can happen to anybody, at any age, but it is more common after the age of 65.
A rehabilitation approach can support people with a diagnosis of dementia to lead active and fulfilling lives.