Australia to be the best in the world at looking after people living with dementia – Opposition pledges

 Friday 5 April 2019 

The commitment by Hon Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition to make Australia the best in the world at looking after people living with dementia, in last night’s 2019 Federal Budget Reply speech, will be welcomed by all Australians impacted by dementia. 

Prof Graeme Samuel AC, Chair Dementia Australia said dementia is the chronic health condition of the 21st century. 

“We look forward to further discussions and learning more detail during the 2019 Federal Election campaign,” Prof Samuel said. 

“With 447,000 Australians living with dementia, 1.5 million people involved in the care of someone living with dementia and the prevalence projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058, the impact of dementia cannot be ignored.” 

Maree McCabe, CEO Dementia Australia said, another area of the speech was the pledge to create 20,000 aged care and NDIS paid carers’ TAFE places. 

“Dementia Australia has long called for mandatory, dementia care education for the aged care workforce,” Ms McCabe said. 

“Again there is a lack of detail and as leaders in dementia education we look forward to contributing to the development of these courses to ensure all staff working in the health and aged care sector are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to provide the best dementia care for all people living with dementia. 

“Dementia Australia’s Strategic Direction, Designing a New Future, released in October 2018, showed that the issues important to people impacted by dementia are timely diagnosis and support, the need for quality dementia care and tackling discrimination. 

“Dementia needs to be core business for everyone and there is more to do in health, disability and ageing. 

“A comprehensive and coordinated action plan is required to specifically address the complex needs of people living with dementia and, their families and carers, 70 per cent of whom live in the community. 

“Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians and the leading cause of death of Australian women. 

“I urge all parties in the 2019 Federal election campaign to pledge to include significant investment in dementia care. 

“I look forward to discussions with all political leaders on how they will all commit to making Australia the best in the world in the care of people living with dementia and, the families and carers who support them.” 

-Ends- 

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 447,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government. 

National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 Interpreter service available (The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government) 

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.dementia.org.au 

Media contacts: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au 

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines