The rate of people being admitted to hospital for dementia has dropped by almost a quarter in the past decade.
But dementia remains a major cause of ill health and death in Australia, affecting up to 436,000 people in 2018 and causing more than 13,700 deaths in 2017, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) said releasing two new reports on Thursday.
Its report on hospital care for people with dementia found there were almost 95,000 hospitalisations in 2016/17.
“Nine in 10 hospitalisations involved at least one overnight stay, with an average length of 13 days,” AIHW spokesman Richard Juckes said.
Just under half of hospitalisations ended with the patient going home and about a third with the patient continuing care in hospital.
About one in five ended in a new admission to residential aged care, while six per cent ended with the patient dying in hospital.
Dementia is a term used to describe a group of conditions characterised by the gradual impairment of brain function.
Among the many different forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
In a separate AIHW report on the dispensing patterns for anti-dementia medications in 2016/17, it focuses on four medications.
“These four prescription medications were dispensed a total of 546,000 times in 2016/17, at a cost of $20 million,” Mr Juckes said.
Donepezil accounted for 65 per cent of all anti-dementia medications dispensed, followed by Galantamine (15 per cent), Rivastigmine (12 per cent) and Memantine (eight).
© AAP 2019