Dementia Australia welcomes the Victorian Government’s budget announcement of $40 million to help cover the cost of introducing minimum staff-to-resident ratios in private aged care.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the focus on staff-to-resident ratios is welcome, and the solution to improve the care of older Australians must also include increased staff and skills mix through education and training for the workforce.
“Dementia prevalence in residential aged care is significant with recent data suggesting that just over two thirds of all people living in residential aged care have moderate to severe cognitive impairment,” Ms McCabe said.
“Dementia Australia knows from broad consultation with people living with dementia, their families and carers, that if we get quality dementia care right then there will be quality care for all.
“For the sector to deliver quality dementia care as a consistent and integral part of aged care, we must ensure a competent and confident aged care workforce that is well supported and led.
“Staff education and training are paramount to improving the deficiencies in the current system, eliminating the misuse of physical and chemical restraint, and treating people with the respect, dignity and care they deserve.
“Dementia Australia has long called for increased dementia training and qualifications, as well as a governance framework to support these initiatives.”
In 2020, there are an estimated 118,000 people living with dementia in Victoria. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to increase to an estimated 301,000 people by 2058.
“Dementia impacts many people in Victoria and further action is needed to support them,” Ms McCabe said.
“We must ensure the sector is well supported to provide quality dementia care as an integral part of aged care if we are to see a consistent improvement in the quality of support and care provided to people living with dementia.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the Victorian Government to ensure people living with dementia, their families and carers receive the best, quality dementia care.”
Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated half a million Australians living with dementia, and the almost 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.
For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available and the Helpline is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking