Webinar: Woman and Dementia

If you have not already registered, this is one Webinar not to miss. Cassandra is not only a clinical neurologist and academic, she has a huge heart, and her work on women and dementia is extremely relevant.  You can register here...

About Cassandra: Professor Cassandra Szoeke is the Director of the Healthy Ageing Program, University of Melbourne, and Institute for Health and Ageing.  A clinical researcher for over a decade, she has over 200 publications and is a reviewer for national and international journals and funding bodies. She has received numerous national and international awards for her research work. Prof Szoeke is a practicing physician in internal medicine with subspecialisation in neurology. In addition to her medical qualifications, she has an honours degree in Genetics and Pharmacology, a PhD in Epidemiology and Ageing, with postdoctoral studies in Public Health and Policy.

About the Webinar:  Our population is ageing, and with this comes an increase in the incidence of dementia. Dementia is a growing cause of death and disability worldwide, with the prevalence of dementia approximately doubling every 5 years after age 60. However women, whether caring for someone with dementia or living with dementia themselves, are disproportionally affected.

Women as carers for those with dementia: Women are 60 -70% of the caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), yet receive less caregiving support from family and friends compared with men caring for someone living with AD. Being a caregiver can have negative implications for the carer’s physical and mental health, and their employment.

Women living with dementia: The majority of Australians aged over 85 – almost 70% – are women. Compared to men of the same age, women are twice as likely to develop dementia. Women over 80 years of age are 4 times more likely to develop AD. Women also have more severe disease and rapid decline than age-matched men. Despite this, women are often excluded from medical research, and there is no report on Women and Dementia in Australia.

Is there any evidence for the gender differences in dementia?

Yes – there are differences in brain structure between women and men. The structural changes in the brain caused by dementia differ between men and women, as do the different forms of behavioural changes associated with the disease. The different hormonal physiology, and sex-specific hormones are known to have effects on the brain. As women are different from men, biologically and socially, this affects disease risk, disease, and treatment. The timing of risk modifications and interventions is also crucial. Many previous studies have only included participants ages 65 and over – we need longitudinal studies from midlife to identify which risk factors are most important in maintaining memory in later life. Results from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project suggested that physical activity, hypertension control, and achieving optimal levels of HDL cholesterol could maintain later life verbal memory skills. While earlier modification of these is ideal, even modifications in later life can have a positive influence on memory. Further research into disease risk and prevention in women is vital.

2 thoughts on “Webinar: Woman and Dementia

  1. Thankyou Kate, I’m not knowledgable enough to know how to “webinar” but thanks. My Mum sure didn’t ever want to be in care but has been the past 15 years. She recently turned 86. She has Vascular Dementia and only seems to sleep all the time when I visit. I have done MOOC’s Understanding & Preventing Dementia and wish I could contribute some funding but cannot. I really appreciate the learning & the work being done to unravel Dementia. Christine Finlay.



  2. Dear Kate, thank you for sharing this important information with us. This webinar will be mandatory viewing for all the women I know.

    Thank you for spreading the message out there that us women need to put greater effort into the care of our bodies and brains to improve our health and reduce our risk of dementia.

    Not only are brains different but the attitude towards men and women are different. What we have seen in 19 years of enabling, assisting and caring for people with dementia is that when a man says”I’m not going to a Nursing Home”, his children simply take notice, but when a woman says the same her children, particularly her sons, label their mother with negative terms like “Mum is feisty” when they really have positive attributes like “Mum knows her mind and is determined”.

    Also, we notice husbands place their wives into Nursing Homes, but less than a year later, when they need around the clock care – they put our Live in Care service in place for themselves. the family are placed into Nursing Homes

    The journey of women through older age is profoundly different on so many levels. I love men and am the mother of twin boys who I adore. At 11 they have been educated that it is no big deal to wipe someone’s bottom and being male doesn’t give them a “pass” when the time comes for me. Kate Lambert, CEO Daughterly Care


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