People living with dementia and carers power up to call for leaders to make dementia a priority

Wednesday 1 May 2019

In the lead up to the federal election, people living with dementia and carers are asking all Australians to call on their local Members of Parliament and candidates to make dementia a priority in their visions for Australia.

Dementia Australia Chair Prof Graeme Samuel AC said the prevalence of dementia is growing exponentially and Australia needs decisive action and national investment to ensure the outcomes for people living with dementia are adequately considered.

“People living with dementia and carers and anyone in the community who has been impacted, have the most powerful voice during election campaigns,” Prof Samuel said.

“We are encouraging the community to share their experiences and join in our call for a commitment of $30 million from the federal government to create an inclusive future where all people impacted by dementia receive the care and support they need and deserve.

“As a result of extensive consultation with the community, we know the priorities for people living with dementia are timely and appropriate diagnosis and support, quality dementia care standards that are person-centred, and the need to reduce discrimination.”

To enable anyone to engage their local candidates this election, Dementia Australia has developed a campaign action pack with tips on how to:
•    Arrange a meeting with your local candidates.
•    Call or write to your respective candidate.
•    Engage them in conversation at an event or when they come door knocking.
•    Contact them via social media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 
•    Call your local talkback radio station.

Isabelle Burke, dementia advocate, daughter and care partner said, “We have to remember that we’re not just keeping people alive for as long as possible, we’re keeping them alive with a great quality of life with rewarding experiences, enriching their lives as much as possible and allowing them to do things for as long as possible.”

Dennis Frost, dementia advocate, living with dementia, said, “I have found some people’s reaction to my condition to be near destructive, eroding my ability and desire to go out into the community.”

“During the election period, every action and every conversation makes a difference to reducing stigma and moving towards better care for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia,” Ms McCabe, CEO Dementia Australia said. 

“With the focus on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety coinciding with the election the most important thing is to take advantage of this occasion and have your say.”

Get involved in our campaign to engage political candidates this election. Check out our action pack here: https://www.dementia.org.au/engaging-your-local-candidate-this-election 

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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 447,000 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: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au, Gabrielle Prabhu 0447 253 583 gabrielle.prabhu@dementia.org.au   
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines