Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Who is at risk of dementia? - video transcript

2-minute read

There are many risk factors that can lead to dementia however some of them are more prevalent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Watch the video below and find out about the common risk factors.

Video transcript


Forgetting stuff happens all the time, but my auntie seems to be forgetting everything, and it's getting worse. I've heard about dementia, but who is at high risk of getting it and why?

Dr Mark Wenitong

Dementia is an age related condition, so as you get older you have a higher risk. And particularly people over 65 years of age. So most of the aboriginal people don't really reach 65 at the moment. But those that do are at risk.

As well was that, we have these risk factors. So they're the things that can help lead to dementia later in life, such as type two diabetes, which lots of our people have; high blood pressure, which lots of our people have; smoking, which we smoke at about two the rate of the rest of the population; a previous history of alcohol, high levels of alcohol; brain injuries; and a number of other things including not a lot of early education.

So all of those things, a lot of what we already have in our communities. So we've been finding that there is a bit more dementia in our communities than what we thought before. And it might be more prevalent than the rest of the communities.

I think the main thing, for anybody that you're worried about, is to get them checked out. And what the easiest way to go about that is to first go and see a GP. If you've got an aboriginal medical service close by, that's the best option for you usually. Because they can understand the cultural issues as well, and if there's language barriers, which is a big problem in the assessment, then they can be assessed properly. And then you can have a aboriginal health worker, a liaison worker with you as well to help out with some of those questions.

So the best thing to do, is you get that initial screening done. Because we might not know what it is. It might be depression, it might be a stroke, it might be something else that's happening, that's causing your uncle, your grandad, whoever it is, to lose their memory a bit and to be a bit disoriented. So the important thing is to first find out when exactly is going on.

Watch the related video

Last reviewed: January 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Impetigo -

Impetigo - sometimes called school sores - is a very contagious skin infection. It is most common in children and infants and causes sores, especially on the face.

Read more on myDr website

Breasts: inside women's breasts -

An internal view shows that the breast is made up of fat, nipple, glands and a network of ducts.

Read more on myDr website

Varicose veins -

Varicose veins (twisted, swollen veins) in the legs are a common problem. Find out about the causes, symptoms and treatment for varicose veins.

Read more on myDr website

Listeria risk in pregnancy -

Listeria bacteria can cause serious problems during pregnancy. Listeria can be transmitted by eating contaminated food, but there are steps you can take to avoid infection.

Read more on myDr website

Malaria precautions while pregnant or breast feeding -

Malaria infection in pregnant women may be more severe than in non-pregnant women. Find out what precautions need to be taken for travel.

Read more on myDr website

Physical activity in children and teenagers -

Get the low down on why physical activity is so important for children and teenagers.

Read more on myDr website

Ultrasound -

Ultrasound is a way of taking a look at the unborn baby without using potentially harmful X-rays.

Read more on myDr website

Head lice -

Head lice (or nits), which live and breed in hair or on the scalp, can be treated by wet combing with a conditioner or with various shampoos and lotions.

Read more on myDr website

Ovulation testing -

Find out how ovulation tests can help you find your most fertile days and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Read more on myDr website

Childhood rashes -

Distinguish between the childhood rashes of rubella (German measles), measles, chickenpox and fifth disease ('slapped cheek' disease).

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo