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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Dementia Australia welcomes transformational Federal Budget investment

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Dementia Australia chair, Professor Graeme Samuel, said on behalf of the half a million people living with dementia and the 1.6 million people involved in their care he is extremely grateful for the $229.4 million allocated in the Federal Budget to dementia.

“In the lead up to this budget Dementia Australia made the case for people living with dementia, their families and carers,” Samuel said.

“The Government has responded through a transformational investment. 

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the 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,” McCabe said. “Dementia must be core business for aged care.”

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 investment in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is also welcomed.

According to McCabe, an increase in Home Care Packages, respite services, and a 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,” she 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.

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