Tuesday 14 November 2017
Queenslanders deserve better dementia support
Dementia Australia has today called on all political parties in Queensland to commit funding to tackling the dementia challenge ahead of the forthcoming State election.
It is estimated that more than 77,000 Queenslanders live with dementia, which, without a significant medical breakthrough, is expected to increase to 250,000 people by 2056.i It is the second leading cause of death of Australians and of Queenslanders.ii There are more than 100 types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form.
To ensure that Queenslanders living with dementia are supported to live the best quality of life possible with meaning, purpose and value, Dementia Australia is seeking:
- Up to $1 million to fund flexible respite services in communities including the Gold Coast, Ipswich, and Gladstone;
- $1 million to create Dementia Friendly Communities in the high prevalence areas of Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Noosa, while building capacity in Brisbane;
- An investment of $11.5 million to support the establishment of the ‘Dementia Care Navigator’ model, particularly benefiting regional Queensland; and,
- Support for a national funded dementia action plan.
Dementia Australia Chair Graeme Samuel said recent research showed more than 80 per cent of Australians did not know that dementia was the second leading cause of death in this country, despite the fact that one-third of survey respondents reported that someone close to them had a diagnosis of the condition.
“The low awareness and understanding of dementia in the community is concerning and, given the prevalence rates, is, quite simply, not good enough. That’s why we need all political parties to commit to tackling the dementia challenge,” Mr Samuel said
“We have identified our key policy priorities for this election to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, their families and carers, while targeting some of the areas with the highest prevalence rates of Dementia in Queensland – including the Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Noosa.
“It is vital that we continue to build on the capacity of health, aged care and disability services in Queensland to meet the needs of people impacted by dementia, while continuing to deliver specialised information, support, respite and end of life services.”
Dementia Australia has written to all Members of Parliament and candidates about their election priorities together with a survey that seeks to understand their views about one of the most vulnerable groups in our community and their position on dementia services and funding in Queensland.
“We expect to see dementia appropriately addressed in their health, ageing and communities’ election policies,” Mr Samuel said.
“And we would absolutely seek and welcome any additional support for people living with dementia.
“We also hope all political parties get behind our push for a funded National Dementia Action Plan, to ensure that dementia specific funding is both sustained and increased to more appropriate levels to better support people impacted by dementia across Australia.
“Dementia is everybody’s business and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with government, stakeholders and the community, to elevate the issue of dementia to the position it deserves as one of the biggest – and growing - health challenges facing Queenslanders and Australians today.”
Dementia Australia is the national peak body for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 413,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia.
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500 Interpreter service available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area
iNATSEM prevalence data commissioned by Dementia Australia (2017).
ii Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017). Causes of Death, Australia, 2016, Cat 3303.0.