Dementia and Alzheimer’s on the rise as population ages – 170,000 cases predicted by 2050

Countdown and Alzheimers New Zealand team up to raise money for new ‘Dementia Friends’ training


25 June, 2018: From today, Countdown bakers will be baking up a storm to help more than 60,000 New Zealanders who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

For every pack of lamingtons sold at Countdown until 22 July, 20 cents will be donated to Alzheimers New Zealand. Last year’s lamington appeal raised more than $15,000 to support the charity.

This year money raised through the sale of lamingtons will be used to support Alzheimers New Zealand’s national flagship programmes such as Dementia Friends, which encourages Kiwis to take part in a 20-minute online programme to raise awareness of the disease and support people living with dementia in their local communities. The programme kicked off in April this year and currently has 1,200 members.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s affects around 62,000 New Zealanders – more than the entire population of Rotorua. It is predicted that approximately 170,000 Kiwis will have dementia by 2050.1

According to a report from Alzheimers New Zealand, the costs associated with dementia in New Zealand were estimated to have increased by 75 per cent over a five-year period – from $955 million in 2011 to $1,676 million in 2016. By 2050, costs could be nearly $5 billion.2

Alzheimers New Zealand chief executive, Catherine Hall, explains: “The rise of dementia has had a major impact on people living with the condition as well as both the health system and the workforce, making it one of New Zealand’s biggest healthcare challenges.”

“Each year, Countdown’s sales not only help raise much needed funds, but also raise more awareness of dementia in New Zealand. We recently ran a survey that revealed 80 per cent of Kiwis say they personally know or have known someone with dementia, so this is an issue that touches most of us,” says Catherine Hall3.

Countdown’s general manager corporate affairs, Kiri Hannifin, says they are pleased to help support such an important issue.

“With more than 60,000 people across New Zealand living with dementia, many of us will know someone affected.  We’re really pleased to be able to help bring attention to the issue of dementia and to help a little to bring programmes such as Dementia Friends to more New Zealanders.”

The iconic raspberry and chocolate lamingtons are on sale at Countdown for $4.00 each or two packs for $7.00.

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