Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Event
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron has championed some exceptional work in the UK devising a national strategy for dementia.
The work focused on three main areas for action:
- Driving improvements in health and care
- Creating dementia-friendly communities
- Improving dementia research
Ms Gill Ayling - currently Head of Global Action Against Dementia (GAAD) with the UK Department of Health was instrumental in driving this dementia strategy work with David Cameron. Dementia Australia invited Ms Ayling to Australia during our Dementia Awareness Month in September as our International guest speaker.
Gill addressed our federal politicians sharing some of her experiences at our Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Forum at Parliament House Canberra. She urged our government to follow the UK example and develop a measurable, national plan to tackle the increasing prevalence of dementia, by focusing on creating dementia-friendly communities.
Our important event was opened by a valued consumer, Mr John Doull, a former public servant who gave an engaging address offering an honest insight into life with dementia.
It was very encouraging to have the Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP attending on behalf of the then Prime Minister, The Hon. Tony Abbott. Also attending were our co-conveners The Hon. Shayne Neumann MP and The Hon. Teresa Gambaro MP and a number of other stakeholders and Parliamentarians including Senator Helen Polley, Senator Catryna Bilyk, and Senator Rachel Siewert.
Dementia Australia values the continued support of these politicians without whom such forums would not be possible.
As our special guest, Gill Ayling highlighted in her presentation Global Action Against Dementia: creating a sustainable future how important it is that we reach politicians and legislation makers with our message, as they have the power to help us influence policy which we hope will ultimately improve the services, care and lives of the 353,800 people living with dementia in our communities.