Dementia Australia is calling on all political parties in New South Wales to commit to tackling the dementia challenge ahead of the upcoming State election on 23 March.
The cost of dementia to the NSW economy is already significant and growing rapidly. In 2018, dementia was estimated to have cost NSW more than $4.9 billion, with an expected increase to more than $11 billion by 2026.
Dementia Australia seeks commitment in the forthcoming election by all parties to address three integral components that will create an inclusive future where all people impacted by dementia receive the care and support they need and deserve. These include developing a clear pathway for diagnosis and support, defining Quality Standards in dementia care, and reducing discrimination.
These priorities embrace a range of transformative initiatives that span a range of sectors and can become a reality with a total commitment of just under $10 million over 5 years from the NSW Government.
This will include initiatives such as supporting the Dementia-Friendly Communities program, which has already achieved great results in increasing the understanding and public awareness of dementia across Australia in settings as diverse as commercial organisations, health services and local community groups.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said Dementia Australia cannot achieve these goals in isolation.
“A generalised approach to health, disability and aged care reform is not enough. Dementia is not yet core business and requires specific attention to make it so.
“A wide range of evidence comprehensively demonstrates that the care provided to people living with dementia is worse than the care delivered to any other vulnerable group.
“Dementia is one of the biggest – and growing – health challenges facing NSW and Australia today.
“Our vision is to work with all political parties in NSW to elevate the issues relating to dementia and to improve the lives of people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.”
For an expanded view and financial breakdown of the Strategic priorities, please refer to https://www.dementia.org.au/files/submissions/DA-Submission-NSW-Pre-Budget-submission-2019-20.pdf