Almost 280,000 Australians live with dementia, with numbers expected to soar to nearly one million by 2050 if there is no significant medical breakthrough.
Dementia is also Australia's third leading cause of death after heart disease and stroke, with Alzheimer's Australia (AA) running Dementia Awareness Week from September 21-28 to bring attention to the condition.
The term dementia covers a group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in functioning skills, which include social skills, loss of memory, physical functioning, rationality and intellect.
The World Alzheimer's Report, released by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) on September 21, found that a quarter of people with dementia admitted to hiding their diagnosis from others because of the stigma attached to it.
National President of Alzheimer's Australia Ita Buttrose said the findings in the report are consistent with recent Australian studies.
"Stigma can impact severely on the quality of life of people with dementia, their carers and families," Ms Buttrose said.
"We all have a responsibility to work towards a society that is dementia friendly, and the best way to do this is to support friends and family living with dementia."
Dementia affects people of all ages, so you can help to ensure that your family gets the appropriate care and treatment needed with Australian health insurance.
Comparing health insurance plans can help you to find the best suited plan to address your family's medical needs.