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How everyday Australians are making a difference in dementia research

How does exercising raise funds for dementia research?

<p>Raising enough funds for dementia research can be tricky, but two organisations have found creative ways to get the community involved. [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

Raising enough funds for dementia research can be tricky, but two organisations have found creative ways to get the community involved. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points

  • Multiple events to support dementia research funding have been held recently, including the annual Wipeout Dementia Surf and Dementia Australia’s Memory Walk and Jog
  • Dementia Australia’s Memory Walk and Jog still has upcoming events where friends and family can walk or jog together to raise awareness and funds for dementia research
  • To reduce one’s likelihood of dementia, researchers at the Centre for Health Brain Ageing recommend that Australians should ‘exercise for at least 30 – 40 minutes every day’

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, according to the latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Despite this, ‘dementia attracts less research funding and has fewer successful therapies’ than diseases such as cancer.

Held at Bondi Beach, surfers recently took to the waves at the annual Wipeout Dementia event, hoping to raise much-needed funds and awareness for dementia research. 

At this year’s event, a total of $265,000 was raised, bringing the total fundraising amount to over $2.5 million dollars for the Dementia Momentum since the first Wipeout Dementia event was held in May 2015. 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with up to 70 percent of people with dementia diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Over 411,000 Australians are living with some form of dementia, according to the latest estimates from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

One of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing’s co-directors, Professor Henry Brodaty, encouraged Australian communities to get involved in minimising their risk of dementia.

“Reducing the social impact of this disease has reached a critical point,” said Professor Brodaty.

Researchers at CHeBA ‘recommend individuals to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30 – 40 minutes every day, including a degree of vigorous exercise.’

Another director at CHeBA, Professor Perminder Sachdev, reiterated the importance of getting Australians involved in the fundraising efforts to support dementia research.

“Despite the prevalence, research funding for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias remains disproportionately underfunded,” said Professor Sachdev.

“Funding support from Wipeout Dementia is allowing CHeBA to ramp up its research focus on the development of biomarkers, so that treatments can be developed to stop progression to dementia,” he continued.

Wipeout Dementia is a corporate event with property industry organisations such as Buildcorp, Avenor, Shape and Sense Projects having been involved this year. 

For Australians who aren’t involved with corporate organisations, other community events such as the Memory Walk and Jog, organised by Dementia Australia, mean that every Australian can help raise funds for dementia research. 

Dementia Australia has organised a total of 22 events for the 2024 Memory Walk and Jog across Australia. This Sunday, Ballarat is the next location for the walk that aims to get Australians active to beat dementia.

In each event,  participants can register in different event distances, including walking distances of 2km and 5 – 6km, or running for 5 – 10km, depending on the event location.

The CEO of Dementia Australia, Maree McCabe AM wants to encourage Australians to join these community events to help raise awareness and funds for people impacted by dementia.

“It’s estimated that 65 percent of people living with dementia live in the community. This could be a family member, a friend or a neighbour. It could be anyone in our community. By walking, jogging or running, raising money and awareness, you will help the countless families impacted by dementia in Ballarat and across Australia,” said Maree McCabe AM. 

Participants can also register their dogs to participate in walking events for an additional fee of $10 which includes an event bandana for your dog to wear on the day. Other Memory Walk and Jog merchandise on the official website includes sweatbands, business socks and soft toys in multiple colours.

Upcoming locations for Dementia Australia’s 2024 Memory Walk and Jog include Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne and Perth. For the full list of remaining locations, visit the Memory Walk and Jog website. 

To learn more about fundraising and how to get started, tips, social media images and downloadable posters are all available online to help raise funds for dementia research in Australia. 


What city will you participate in for Dementia Australia’s Memory Walk and Jog?

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