Make dementia an election priority

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Election 2016

Dementia Australia needs your help in making the National Dementia Strategy a priority in the 2016 Australian Election.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia.

There is no cure.

More than 353,800 Australians live with dementia, and approximately 25,100 people in Australia with Younger Onset Dementia (a diagnosis of dementia under the age of 65).

An estimated 1.2 million people are involved in the care of a person with dementia and without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is estimated to hit almost 900,000 by 2050.1

The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) has put together an Election 2016: Tell us what matters to you survey that will be used to inform the ABC’s election coverage and provide attention to issues that are relevant to the lives of Australians.

Your choiceAlzheimer’s Australia is doing what it can to ensure that dementia is at the forefront of the Australian government's focus, but we need your voice as well. We have provided a submission to the Federal Treasurer to inform the 2016-17 Federal Budget to implement a comprehensive and nationally funded strategy to build on existing areas of success and develop a collaborative and cost effective response to dementia across Australia..

This submission involved the priorities identified by people with dementia, and reflected the changes they wanted to see put into action.

At the 2016 Alzheimer’s Australia National Consumer Summit, consumers unanimously called for a funded National Dementia Strategy to meet measurable outcomes that built on the National Framework for Action on Dementia 2015 - 2019. These outcomes and priorities will address:

  1. Develop culturally appropriate dementia support that responds to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds including culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the homeless, people living alone, people with younger onset dementia and the LGBTI community
  2. Promote risk reduction
  3. Tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with dementia and support social inclusion and participation
  4. Improve access to timely diagnosis and high-quality health care
  5. Provide care and support in the community that facilitates independence, social engagement and effective support for informal carers
  6. Ensure access to high-quality residential care and publicly available information about consumer experience and quality of care
  7. Improve end of life care and support for people with dementia
  8. Sustained investment in dementia research
  9. Implement consumer directed care that leads to real choices and better outcomes for people with dementia and their families
  10. Develop a strategy to better support carers of people with dementia3

Investment in these priorities has the potential to reduce the costs of dementia to the health and aged care system, which is currently projected to cost $83 billion by 2060 if this does not become a focus of the Australian government.1

Alzheimer’s Australia urges voters to turn attention to dementia as an election issue.

We need coordinated and funded outcomes, based on a National Dementia Strategy, to address dementia as a National Health Priority.

To have your say on why the government needs dementia to be a priority, please fill in the survey on the ABC website.

1 Dementia Australia Key facts and statistics 2016

2 2016-17 Budget Submission. Towards 2020 - A Dementia Response for Australia

3 Dementia Australia National Consumer Summit Communique 2016