Dementia Australia is calling on all political parties and candidates to declare commitments to the delivery of quality dementia care in their election policy platforms.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe has reiterated the need for maintaining the momentum and focus on aged care and dementia during this election campaign, especially in relation to the aged care workforce issues, and dementia education.
“Aged care and dementia must remain top of the agenda,” McCabe says.
“While there has been significant investment and many aged care reforms are underway there is still much to be done to fulfil on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
McCabe says thousands of people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers shared their very personal, often traumatic and confronting experiences directly with the Royal Commission as witnesses, through submissions, by attending roundtables and community forums.
“They need to hear from all parties and all candidates that their contributions will continue to be acknowledged, with clear and direct statements in their platforms that quality dementia care is an election priority,” she says.
This election, Dementia Australia is seeking support for three critical initiatives that have not yet been addressed in the current aged care reform process and will build on existing measures designed to ensure quality dementia care and inclusion for people living with dementia:
- The introduction of compulsory dementia education for aged care workers.
- The establishment of a national dementia palliative care program and,
- Long-term, sustained funding for the award-winning Dementia-Friendly Communities program.
“The first priority is especially pressing,” McCabe says.
“For the sector to deliver quality dementia care as a consistent and integral part of aged care, we must continue to support our workforce, strengthen their knowledge and skills and develop practice leaders and mentors.”
“Dementia Australia looks forward to receiving support from all political candidates during this election and we stand ready to continue this conversation with the elected government.
“Getting quality care right for people living with dementia will have a profound and lasting, impact for all – systemically, economically and as a human right.
“It is our responsibility as a society to provide appropriate care for those who are most vulnerable.”