Government investment in dementia and aged care welcomed

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Alzheimer’s Australia welcomes the announcement from Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison and Assistant Minister, Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield of their commitment to inject $34 million worth of new grant funding into Australia’s aged care sector, including dementia care.

Two projects funded under this program include national dementia-specific programs that aim to provide flexible respite services to dementia carers and to train GPs and practice nurses in the timely diagnosis of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Carol Bennett, said: “This is promising news for the more than 340,000 Australians living with dementia and the more than 1.2 million people involved in their care.

“Accessible respite is something Alzheimer’s Australia has been advocating for and it is pleasing to see that the government is focusing its efforts on improving the service.

“The timely diagnosis of dementia is vital in assisting people with dementia to gain access the services they need including early intervention in the form of treatment, support, advance planning and understanding of the condition. 

“Training staff in general practice will also reduce the chances of poor or inappropriate medical management of symptoms and high rates of unnecessary hospitalisation.

“GPs and nursing staff are often the first point of contact when people first notice symptoms of dementia. Therefore it is essential to increase their knowledge of dementia diagnosis, assessment, and management to achieve optimal health outcomes for people with dementia. This project provides the opportunity to train GPs and practice nurses all over the country.”