Urgent calls to end ‘neglect’ in aged care echoed by Dementia Australia

Dementia Australia

The Interim Report, ‘Neglect’, tabled today in federal parliament by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has affirmed the key challenges people living with dementia, their families and carers have consistently flagged through their own experiences.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said for many years people impacted by dementia have contributed to reviews, reports, advisory panels and committees, and they have also made significant contributions to the work of the Commission to date.

“This Interim Report has validated their shared concerns that systemic change is required, workforce capacity and culture needs serious attention and tackling age and other forms of discrimination is vital to ensure the future aged care system is able to support people impacted by dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

“Further, as the Report recommends, Dementia Australia urges the prioritisation of those areas flagged as requiring an immediate response rather than waiting for the handing down of the Final Report.

“An instant injection of funding to tackle the Home Care packages wait list of more than 120,000 people is crucial to so many people living with dementia, who are waiting to receive the support to which they are entitled.

“A coordinated and comprehensive approach to take decisive action to reduce the use of chemical and physical restraint is also essential.

“And urgent changes to the health system and residential aged care can also be introduced now to provide appropriate services and support for the 27,000 Australians living with younger onset dementia.

“Underpinning all of those things is a need for sufficient staff with adequate training to ensure safe and quality care for people living with dementia.

“I commend the work of the Commission to date and especially acknowledge the contribution by Commissioner, the late Hon Richard Tracey AM RFD QC, in addition to Commissioners Lynelle Briggs AO and the Hon Tony Pagone QC.

“Their leadership and dedication to listening, learning and a commitment to change has been inspiring.

“We look forward to a comprehensive focus on the issues important to people living with dementia, their families and carers in the Final Report and we reaffirm our commitment to being part of the solution through the whole-of-system reform and redesign that will be recommended in November 2020.”

For All Dementia Australia

/Public Release.