Credit: TopNews

A recent survey reveals Australians experience a great fear of losing mental independence as they get older.

In 2008, there were a total of 227,300 people with dementia, and the figure is expected to be 731,000 by 2050, unless a medical discovery halts the insidious process of losing one's memories.

The latest survey figures showed that four out of five Australians aged over 50 said, losing their mental capacity is what they fear the most about getting old.

The survey of 1,200 Australians regarding their attitudes toward ageing was conducted by AddedValue market research, commissioned by Bupa Care Services, an age-care provider.

The survey found that nine out of ten Australians expected they will need the help of someone, other than their own family, to care for them in old age.

One in three had not thought about how they will pay for such service.

A little over half of the survey participants said they wanted to remain in their own home regardless of the state of their health.

According to Paul Gregersen, director of Bupa Care Services, the research is important because dementia is often a taboo subject among families.

Mr Gregersen said that by 2050 the number of Australians aged over 85 will triple to 1.2 million, and that the real dilemma that is facing older Australians among others is along this line - Who will care for me when I age?

Dementia affects the lives of nearly one million Australians who involved in caring for a family member or friend with dementia.

While, the risk of dementia rises up with age, it is not a natural part of ageing.