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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 September 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2019 23 OPINION Greek Australians living with dementia have specific needs Dr Arthur Kokkinias outlines how dementia affects the Greek community of Australia on the occasion of Dementia Action Week (16-22 September) and World Alzheimer’s Month By 2057 there will be an estimated one million Australians living with dementia. In that same year, there will be 8.8 million people over the age of 65 years diagnosed with this debilitating problem. In 2017, 15 per cent of Australians (3.8 million) were aged over 65 years. By 2057 this group will increase to 22 per cent of the population (ie 8.8 million people) and by 2097 the proportion will be 12.8 million people or one in four people of the population. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare forecasts the number of people living with dementia will reach 1 million by 2057 compared to 376,000 in 2017. Dementia Australia forecasts a higher number than that of the AIHW. Alarmingly, a 2017 study by Professor Anstey, a researcher at Neuroscience Research Australia, found that more than half of people living with dementia in Australia are not detected. The large predicted increase in dementia numbers means that there will be an increased demand and need for culture and language appropriate services available for people with dementia and for their carers. Greek-born people in Australia have lower levels of educational attainment and poorer English skills compared to the general population and compared to newer migrant arrivals. The 2016 census showed that 37 per cent of Greek-born people are aged over 75 years and 29 per cent are aged between 65-74 years. The vast majority (over 90 per cent) identify and are affiliated with the Orthodox Christian faith. 33 per cent speak English "not well or not at all". 65 per cent have only a school education and 10 per cent have no education at all (compared to 39 per cent and one per cent respectively for the general Victorian population). Only six per cent have a bachelor degree or above (24 per cent for the general population). Occupational patterns show higher rates of machine operators, drivers, and labourers compared to the general population. Total income for Greek-born migrants is also comparatively lower than the general population. The above census data highlights the need for better and more accessible information for older Greek Australians and for culturally and linguistically appropriate treatment options and services. The number of Greek-born people that stated that they are in need of assistance from others was 24 per cent, compared to 5 per cent of the general population. The predicted increased rates of de- mentia will have an impact on the ageing Greeks in Australia, and strategies need to be put in place to cope with the inevitable increase in numbers. Melbourne's population boasts 50 per cent of all Greek-born people in Australia. Sydney has 29 per cent, Adelaide 8 per cent and Brisbane and Perth each have 2.4 per cent. Most of the ethno-language specific services will therefore be required in Melbourne. Melbourne-based organisations such as Fronditha Care, Pronoia, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, in addition to a plethora of private organisations have attempted to service this growing sector of need in the ageing population. The Hellenic Medical Society of Australia has also provided public education and lobbied for improved services. Much more needs to be done however in order to manage this tsunami of need in our ageing Greek Australians. * Dr Arthur is an adult psychiatrist with a public appointment at Royal Melbourne Hospital (Inner West Area Mental Health Service) as well as a private clinic. He is Royal Melbourne Hospital – Inner West Area Mental Health Service. His private practice is in Richmond. He is the secretary of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia. On Sunday 22 September 2019 at 11am, a free public education forum on dementia will be presented at Oakleigh Grammar School, titled ‘The Puzzle of Dementia’ (Ο κρίκος της άνοιας). PHOTO: PXHERE THE PUZZLE OF DEMENTIA On Sunday 22 September 2019 at 11am, a free public education forum on dementia will be presented at Oakleigh Grammar School immediately after the Sunday Liturgy. This event will be conducted in Greek and is a joint initiative of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia, Fronditha Care and Oakleigh Grammar School. Light refreshments will be provided. Medical experts and service providers will give a presentation at the forum, titled 'The Puzzle of Dementia' (Ο κρίκος της άνοιας). Keynote speaker is Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, whereas other participants are Dr Nick Roubos, Dr Chris Plakiotis, Georgia Tzempetzis and Dr Arthur Kokkinias. Everyone is welcome. Women’s degradation is as commonplace as breathing MARY SINANIDIS Every so often we have a 'face' – the latest victim of men's violence against women. Australian-Cypriot Ioli Hadjilyra, who died at the hands of Bradley Edwards, was the latest victim in a rising toll. This time, there were no latenight vigils at the foggy park as there had been for Courtney Herron, nor was there a flower tram laden with blossoms and teary mourners as there had been for Aiia Maasarwe. She was just the latest 'pretty face' to have met a tragic fate, killed at the hands of a man driven to assert his dominance as a result of all sorts of mental factors. In between Courtney and Ioli, there were other victims that the mainstream media barely mentioned, probably because they were middle-aged and not quite as photogenic for their story to sell newspapers or elicit hits. There wasn't as much of a demand to hear about how Elia Coluccio, 63, was killed by her husband, or Megal Kirley, 41, murdered by a man she had a relationship with. The lack of interest in the stories of older, married, less attractive women is telling in itself of the sexis society we live in that objectifies women. The figures of the World health Organisation show that one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner. In Australia, at least one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner. In Australia, at least one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence. On 9 September 2019, there were already 46 women murdered in Australia since the start of the year. Impact for Women, a volunteer-run charity focused on violence against women, noted that 40 of these women were murdered by men, five of the murders also had the participation of women and one was killed by someone whose gender is still not known. The year before it had been 79 women killed of which 69 of the murders were committed by male suspects. Women don't feel safe in their own homes, but even fewer feel safe walking down the street according to results by Plan International following surveys of hundreds of young women in Sydney. An interactive map was created showing harassment that women were subjected to on a daily basis, with nine out of 10 of the women surveyed stating that they felt unsafe at night, citing mainly the behaviour of men as a reason for this. United Nations figures back the 'overall feeling' women have with statistics showing that one in 10 women in Australia have experienced violence from a stranger in a public place, and that violence against women in Australia is 'disturbingly common', and experts add that the country is not an outlier among developed nations where harassment is widespread. If you're a man, you may be thinking, "I would never do that." But at the heart of the abuse is an ingrained disregard for women in our society in general, whether this be through the lesser pay that women get (14 per cent on average), the lame locker-room styled off-the-cuff remarks and an ingrained disregard that women have come to expect. To eradicate violence against women, we don't need to look at more policing and lights, harsher penalties or draping white ribbons around our communities. What we need is something simple - a real understanding of our own behaviour and perception of women that may go towards perpetuating the climate of disrespect that disempowers, intimidates and objectifies women at home, in public places at work.
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