Dementia should be an election priority

Media Release

Monday 2 May 2016

Dementia should be an election priority

Today Alzheimer’s Australia is calling on all political parties to commit to tackling the dementia challenge as Australia gears up for the next federal election.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia1 and is a National Health Priority. Without a medical breakthrough dementia is set to become the most significant health, social and economic challenge of the 21st century.

Alzheimer’s Australia National CEO, Carol Bennett will meet with a number of political leaders at Parliament House in Canberra today, accompanied by Bryan and Conny Gard who have the lived experience of dementia.

“It is so important that people who are living with dementia right now have the opportunity to meet and talk face to face with our political leaders to let them know what needs to be done to support them to live quality of life.” Ms Bennett said.

Bryan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, at the age of 64. “It will be good to let politicians know what we think could be done, that could go a long way to help make life easier for us, and all the other families in Australia also living with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Bryan said.

Bryan’s wife Conny is a retired nurse and Bryan’s full time carer, “there are a number of things that Government could do to make day to day life a little easier for us and many others in the same situation. Dementia-friendly societies is certainly something Bryan and I feel very strongly about, we definitely need something to address the stigma around dementia,” Conny said.

Alzheimer’s Australia is calling for the Government to commit to implementing a comprehensive, funded national approach to supporting people with dementia building on the National Framework for Action on Dementia 2015-2019. The Framework identifies key areas for action but does not provide stated priorities, measures and funding to address such a significant National Health Priority.  As a first step in the Strategy, Alzheimer’s Australia is calling for action on three key priorities: 

  • tackling stigma and discrimination associated with dementia
  • developing respite services to better support people with dementia and carers in the community and
  • committing to ensuring high quality care in residential care.

Ms Bennett went on to say, “people with dementia and their carers deserve to live well. This federal election, dementia needs commitment from our nation’s political leaders.  With the growing prevalence of dementia we need a strategic, co-ordinated, funded commitment so that the more than 353,000 people with dementia are supported to live lives of value and purpose in their communities.”

 

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Causes of Death, Australia, 2013: Cat no. 3303.0


 

Media enquiries:
Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | bianca.armytage@dementia.org.au


Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.


National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area


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