Within a year, dementia is predicted to become Australia’s number one killer.
And that knowledge is driving one man’s journey across the length and breadth of Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.
Gold Coast man Greg Kelly, 59, nickname Kell, was diagnosed with young onset dementia, kick-starting Kell’s Ride for The Future.
“It was a shock, but it was also a relief,” Mr Kelly said.
“If someone doesn’t diagnose you, you think you’re going crazy.”
The ride was an awareness campaign, which was also targeted towards Australia’s top 500 companies.
He wanted companies to take half a per cent of their annual earnings and donate them to a medical research fund, targeting the top 10 killers in Australia.
“One needs to step forward,” he said.
Mr Kelly spoke during the launch of Dementia and Sensory Challenges, a resource which highlighted how dementia can affect more than memory.
The booklet showed how dementia could affect seeing, hearing, touch, taste, smell and cause hallucinations.
Inspired and created by the words of people living with dementia, the booklet was instigated by Scottish woman Agnes Houston who was diagnosed with dementia more than eight years ago.
Speaking in a video, Ms Houston said it wasn’t typical memory loss which she experienced.
“I have to learn don’t trust your eyes,” she said.
Spatial awareness and visual-perceptions became jarred, “brain blindness”, which meant her brain did not interpret the information sent from her eyes immediately.
Black carpet in elevators looked like they did not have a floor, she said.
For Mr Kelly, his dementia affected his hearing and created disturbing hallucinations.
He saw faces protruding through painted surfaces as if there were bodies on the other side, he said. “It’s not a mental illness, it’s a brain disease.”
Alzheimer's Australia National chief executive officer Maree McCabe said one in 13 people with dementia were under 65.
Keeping your brain and body active was one way to reduce the chance of having dementia, but often it affected fit and healthy individuals, she said.