Specialist Advocacy Services in Aged Care for people with dementia

Media Release

Monday 29 February 2016

Specialist Advocacy Services in Aged Care for people with dementia

Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the Assistant Minister for Health’s recent comments that, ‘individual advocacy support is critical to empowering consumers to exercise their choice.’  

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP made this announcement while releasing the final report of the review into Commonwealth Aged Care Advocacy Services, with the Minister for Health, The Hon Sussan Ley MP.

Alzheimer’s Australia National President Graeme Samuel said that a nationally consistent advocacy service model would help to protect consumers through the process of an evolving aged care system.

“People accessing aged care services need to be empowered and have their rights protected, especially people living with dementia who have unique needs that cannot be met by a broad approach to advocacy.

“There is no one-size-fits-all advocacy approach for people living with dementia. They require assistance from people with knowledge about the condition, including the sensitivities related to dementia, in order for the advocacy process to be effective,” Professor Samuel said.

Alzheimer’s Australia National CEO, Carol Bennett said although Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes a nationally consistent approach to aged care advocacy services, the process would also have to allow flexibility to be responsive to the needs of individuals.

“It is essential that the system is able to respond to the complex individual needs which are created by conditions like dementia. A short-term approach to advocacy would be inadequate. Dementia results in ongoing cognitive decline, so support is needed through the various stages of the illness.

“Specialist advocacy by people with knowledge, skills and expertise of dementia is going to be necessary, to ensure people living with dementia’s particular needs are being met through this very important process. 

“This is imperative for people living with dementia as we move towards consumer directed care in aged care,” Ms Bennett concluded.

Read the final report, Review of Commonwealth Aged Care Advocacy Services here.

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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