Aged care prioritised nationally but dementia still not core business

Monday 17 December 2018

Dementia Australia has welcomed the recent announcements from both major parties to provide better aged care for all Australians; however, dementia is still not embedded as core business for aged care.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said with more than 50 per cent of people in residential aged care with a dementia diagnosis and 76 per cent of the 436,000 Australians with dementia living in the community, any discussion around aged care must include a focus on dementia.

“Dementia must be factored into all plans to improve the support and care for people impacted by dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

The Coalition Government has today declared extra support for older Australians in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), with $552.9 million allocated to aged care funding.

The funding includes a focus on improving access to GPs in residential aged care, more support for homelessness and regional and remote services, and an additional 10,000 high-level Home Care Packages.

“Dementia Australia provides support to many people living with dementia and carers who have been struggling with lower-level home packages or long waiting lists,” Ms McCabe said.

“This extra funding will enable more people to live independently for as long as possible, making a substantial difference to many in our community.”

At the ALP National Conference yesterday the Labor Party acknowledged the enormous economic and social implications of dementia, and committed to building dementia-inclusive communities, funding education and training programs and providing appropriate support programs for people living with dementia.

“The Labor Party’s draft platform, A Fair Go For Australia, includes a specific section addressing dementia to improve the lives of people living with dementia, and for the families and carers,” Ms McCabe said.

“The actions of both major parties are a sign of promise to improve the outcomes of Australians living with dementia, however there remains long way to go.

“Through regular consultation with our clients the three key issues flagged by people living with dementia are timely access to diagnosis and support, reducing discrimination and the provision of quality residential and community care services that are underpinned by an appropriately trained workforce across the health and aged care sectors.

“We call for further commitment, and specifically more details, from all parties and other Members of Parliament, on how these increases in aged care funding will improve the lives of the 436,000 Australians living with dementia, and the support available and accessible for their families, carers and all those impacted.”

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Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity 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 436,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.

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

www.dementia.org.au

Media contacts: Gabrielle Prabhu 0447 253 583 Gabrielle.Prabhu@dementia.org.au  / Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.