Welcomed ‘first steps’ response to interim report with more urgently needed

Monday 25 November 2019

Dementia Australia welcomes the federal government’s initial action towards addressing the three priority areas identified in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report, with an urgent call for more.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the government’s response would go some way towards meeting the shortfalls in the aged care system highlighted throughout the Royal Commission with further action needed.

“The additional 10,000 home care packages are urgently needed, especially those weighted towards level 3 and level 4 packages but there is still a 120,000 strong waiting list[1] and a lack of uncertainty for all those impacted,” Ms McCabe said.

“With 70 per cent of the almost half a million Australians with dementia living in the community, many are on this waiting list.

“They need confidence in a system that will provide quality care to enable them to be supported to stay at home longer and be engaged and included in their communities avoiding premature entry into residential care.”

Dementia Australia welcomes further clarity around the allocation toward reducing the use of chemical restraint.

“While guidelines on the use of chemical restraint do exist, ensuring these are implemented is vital,” Ms McCabe said.

“There needs to be a larger commitment from all stakeholders to dementia education to eliminate the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medication, and to improve the health and care outcomes for people living with dementia.

“As the prevalence of dementia increases in our community, it is critical that all aged care services and other professionals working in the sector are well-equipped and supported to provide the best possible care for Australians living with dementia.

“Whilst the additional $10 million for training announced is welcome, more funding is needed to train the more than 360,000 people working in the aged care sector[2]. Furthermore, study and career pathways must also be established to encourage people to work in the sector.

“Dementia Australia continues to call for the introduction of mandatory dementia-specific training for the aged care workforce.

“Supporting and strengthening our aged care workforce will better support Australians living with dementia, their families and carers now and for the generations to come.

“We look forward to more detail about today’s announcement and working in collaboration with the government on the ongoing reform of the aged care system.”

For all Dementia Australia comments and submissions to the Royal Commission please visit https://www.dementia.org.au/royal-commission.

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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 438,000 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 | christine.bolt@dementia.org.au | 0400 004 553 ; Gabrielle Prabhu Senior Media & Communications Advisor, gabrielle.prabhu@dementia.org.au, 0447 253 583.

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


[1] https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/www_aihwgen/media/Home_care_report/HCPP-Data-Report-4th-qtr-2018-19.pdf

[2] https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/www_aihwgen/media/Workforce/The-Aged-Care-Workforce-2016.pdf