Currently more than 60,000 New Zealanders have dementia, with the figure expected to grow to 170,000 and cost the economy more than $4.5 billion by 2050.
Public Trust is lending its support to fighting this major healthcare challenge through a new partnership agreement with Dementia New Zealand.
The two organisations will work together to produce educational resources and plan knowledge exchanges to raise the public’s understanding of dementia, including the early warning signs of the condition and ways to mitigate and manage its impact.
"Public Trust has an important role to play in the lives of people living with dementia," says Public Trust’s Head of Marketing and Partnerships, Josh Byers.
"We engage widely with families affected by the condition through our financial and property support services - anything from handling day-to-day transactions, to assisting with transitioning to a rest home.
"By working with Dementia New Zealand directly and through their regional affiliates, we can further support those kiwis affected by dementia, and better understand how our assistance and care services can be tailored to meet the needs of families."
The CEO of Dementia New Zealand, Paul Sullivan, sees the partnership as another way to move the conversation forward on the impact of dementia for those at risk, as well as on the health system and economy more broadly.
"It’s important to work with partners to promote clear messaging on what dementia is and can mean. We want to partner with organisations that can make a positive contribution to families affected by the condition," says Paul Sullivan.
"There is a lot of stigma and fear associated with dementia, and a lot of this is due to misunderstanding.
"Dementia is actually an umbrella term for a range of illnesses that can contribute to reduced cognitive ability. Each comes with its own particular attributes, with some more serious than others."
The partnership agreement will also see Public Trust offer a free half-hour consultation service to existing or recently diagnosed patients with dementia to discuss the estate management and care services available to them.
Information to help those managing dementia can be found at www.dementia.nz/useful-info