Federal parliamentarians, government officials and dementia advocates will tomorrow convene with the Parliamentary Friends of Dementia to be presented with some practical solutions for transforming dementia care in Australia.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said while the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will release its much-anticipated recommendations in November this year, urgent action is needed now.
“A response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendations will take time to start having a meaningful impact on Australians currently living with dementia, their families and carers,” Ms McCabe said.
“For many people currently receiving care, waiting is not an option. We can take action now in readiness to ensure dementia care becomes core business for the aged care sector.”
Updated dementia prevalence figures, to be released tomorrow, show that in 2020 the number of Australians estimated to be living with dementia has increased to 459,000.
Dementia Australia Dementia Advocate Bobby Redman will speak at the Parliament House event about the barriers she faced in receiving an initial dementia diagnosis.
“My diagnosis happened because my professional background as a practicing psychologist gave me the knowledge and understanding that what I was experiencing was not normal, and the courage to question the GP,” Ms Redman said.
“People living with dementia need faster diagnosis in order to access early intervention – whether we are a person living with dementia or a family carer, we are all looking for ways to all live happier, healthier lifestyles as part of our own communities.
“We are counting on the change makers at the top to help us to develop ways to make this happen.”
Dementia Australia’s 2020-21 Federal Pre-Budget Submission calls on the focus to be on solutions that can start of paving the way to transforming dementia care.
These solutions include making dementia core business by focusing on three key areas – Dementia Australia’s strategic priorities for 2018-2023, which include quality care, reducing discrimination and timely diagnosis and support.
“The prevalence of dementia in our community is growing exponentially – those impacted by dementia across Australia are seeking decisive action to ensure that the outcomes for people living with dementia, their families and carers are adequately considered in the context of more generalised health, disability and aged care reforms, with targeted, translatable action,” Ms McCabe said.
“The funding investments outlined in Dementia Australia’s 2020-21 Federal Pre-Budget Submission will represent long term savings, not least through more effective use of health, disability and ageing services, fewer emergency interventions and a focus on continuous improvement.
“Investing in initiatives that define the pathway to diagnosis, develop mechanisms to embed quality dementia care and reduce the daily discrimination faced by people living with dementia is absolutely key to making dementia core business in Australia and truly making a difference to the lives of everyone who is impacted.”
The Dementia Australia 2020-21 Federal Pre-Budget Submission is available at www.dementia.org.au.
Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 459,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 Interpreter service available (The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative) Dementia is a National Health Priority Area www.dementia.org.au