Sign up for our eNews and discover more about what we're up to, the difference we're making, and, most importantly, how you can help.
The multibillion dollar health costs in the report released today from Alzheimer’s Australia in Canberra should be a wake up call for parties in the coming election according to WA CEO Rhonda Parker.
The number of people with dementia in Australia is now 413,000 and the estimated cost to the community is more than $14 billion this year, meaning in WA there are more than 40,000 diagnosed with a cost well in excess of a billion dollars. This is more than 20% up on previous estimates.
A five per cent reduction in the number of people developing dementia over the age of 65 could lead to national savings of $5.7 billion from 2016-25 and $120.4 billion by 2056.
“The spiralling rate of diagnosis is alarming but despite this we have yet to see election policies in WA targeting dementia,” Ms Parker said.
“Dementia is the second biggest killer in Australia and those diagnosed have a long and often arduous journey.”
“The major political parties need to be clear on what they are doing to help Western Australians living with dementia in care and support and where they stand on reducing prevalence.”
The report is clear that lifestyle risk and protective factors for dementia offer very real opportunities for prevention programs that could reduce the number of Australians developing dementia each year by as much as 13%.
Priorities in policy on dementia going into the election will be a major issue for more than 40,000 West Australians with dementia and their 100,000 carers.
WA has shown national leadership in dementia response for some years and those with dementia need to know there is an ongoing commitment.
Whilst a cure is sought, Ms Parker said there needs to be a level of government that takes respite care seriously and aims to reduce the burden on those with a diagnosis and their carers.
Report: The Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056
University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM)
Alzheimer’s Australia WA said this needs to be a key issue in the WA state election.
For interviews and media enquiries, please contact:
Communications Manager, Alzheimer’s Australia WA
T: (08) 6271 1022 M: 0419 971 713 E: [email protected]
More media releases
Dementia peak body welcomes Serious Incident Response Scheme to protect senior Australians
Dementia Australia has welcomed the introduction of a Serious Incident Response Scheme by the federal government to protect vulnerable and senior Australians from abuse and neglect. Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the scheme is an important step in helping to keep people living with dementia safe.
Australians urged to be on alert for elder abuse, with concerns more people living with dementia at risk
Today on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Dementia Australia is urging all Australians to know the warning signs of elder abuse and to be alert to vulnerable Australians, including people who live with dementia. Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said elder abuse is a serious issue that is likely to have become even more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACT government’s first steps towards a dementia-friendly Canberra welcomed
Dementia Australia has welcomed the launch of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Age-Friendly City Plan, which includes a focus on some areas becoming dementia-friendly. Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the focus of the Plan is on practical achievements that address the barriers older Canberrans have said they face in living free from abuse, staying mobile, remaining socially connected and having good access to services.