Dementia Australia calls for a solutions-based approach to the Royal Commission into aged care to identify a clear path forward to improving the health and care outcomes for the more than 425,000 people living with dementia in Australia.
Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe said after a number of reviews, a Royal Commission will be an opportunity to elevate the focus on the aged care system, identify the challenges and provide direction on mapping out what needs to be done to meet the growing needs of our ageing population.
“Whilst there are many providers committed to providing high quality care it is evident there are systematic deficiencies and challenges now in staffing, education and in the capacity to provide the quality of care people living with dementia and all people accessing aged care services deserve,” Ms McCabe said.
“Urgent action is needed to address these challenges for all those accessing the system now and to plan for the increased demand to come.”
“Dementia Australia has long called for the introduction of quality standards around dementia, increased dementia training levels and qualifications and a funding framework to support these initiatives.
Unless there is a major medical breakthrough by 2056 it is estimated around 1.1 million people will be living with dementia.
“We are particularly pleased to see that the inquiry will span home and residential care and include a focus on people of all ages living with dementia, particularly the 26,000 people diagnosed under the age of 65 living with younger onset dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“With 70 per cent of people living with dementia residing in the community and around 50 per cent of those living in residential care living with dementia, this Royal Commission will elevate the focus on the aged care system as a whole.
“We do wish to acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of formal and informal carers of people living with dementia who are doing everything they can to make sure that the person they support has a good quality of life.
“We hope the Royal Commission will inspire ways that as a society, governments, the health and aged care sectors, business and the community will commit, together, to improve the lives of people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.”
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 425,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. 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 an Australian Government Initiative) Dementia is a National Health Priority Area www.dementia.org.au
Media contacts: Christine Bolt, 0400 004 553 / [email protected]
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.