Media Release: Tuesday 11 May 2021
Dementia Australia welcomes the extraordinary commitment to dementia announced by the Government in tonight’s Federal Budget.
Dementia Australia Chair, Prof Graeme Samuel AC, said on behalf of the half a million people living with dementia and the 1.6 million people involved in their care Dementia Australia is extremely grateful for the $229.4 million allocated in this budget to dementia.
“In the lead up to this budget Dementia Australia made the case for people living with dementia, their families and carers,” Prof Samuel said.
“The government has responded through a transformational investment. We acknowledge the commitment made by the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Ministers for Health and Aged Care, Senior Australians and Aged Care Services.”
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said this record investment will provide the impetus for systemic change required in the aged care industry.
“Elevating the capability and capacity of the workforce is a focus of this budget. Dementia must be core business for aged care,” Ms McCabe said.
Key measures in the budget relating to dementia include:
- Enhanced early support for people living with dementia in the community their families and carers through an expansion of the National Dementia Support Program.
- An additional outreach capability for the National Dementia Helpline.
- More support at diagnosis for people to access the services they need.
- Dementia training throughout the sector.
- Improvement in aged care regulation – transparency of performance, restraint and dementia-friendly building practices.
- The introduction of a nationally consistent worker screening register and code-of-conduct for all care sector workers including aged care workers.
In addition to these dementia specific measures the Government’s significant investment in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is also welcomed.
Announcements in relation to the increase in Home Care Packages, respite services, and strengthening of regulation of chemical and physical restraints will have significant benefits for people living with dementia, their families and carers.
“We have consulted with the dementia community extensively over the last two years and provided the Federal Government with a detailed plan to improve dementia support,” Ms McCabe said.
We are now looking forward to working with the Government and health and aged care sectors to realise the Roadmap to Quality Dementia Care to make a profound and lasting difference to the lives of all people living with dementia, their families and carers.
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 for information can also visit dementia.org.au.