Older Australians Welcome New Commitments In Dementia Care

Leading seniors’ advocacy organisation COTA Australia has welcomed Aged Care Minister Sussan Ley’s announcement today of dedicated funds for specialist dementia care units and dementia friendly communities.

COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said “The numbers of people with dementia are increasing as the population ages, especially as the numbers of people 80-plus rise dramatically over the next two decades.

“That means now is the time to get better prepared both for enabling communities to support more people living with dementia in the community; and for specialist services able to provide prompt, high quality care to people with higher level dementia needs.

“Specialist dementia units will provide one-on-one care for people who experience very severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and are unable to be supported in a mainstream aged care service.

“We welcome the commitment to work with the sector, including consumer organisations, in working out how best to utilise the $7.5 million over four years for specialist dementia care units. These are additional funds to the normal funding for bed allocations.

“We also look forward to working with government on how the $3.9 million of existing funding now being targeted to promoting dementia friendly communities will deliver the best outcomes.

“Councils on the Ageing are at the forefront, in partnership with local governments, of moves toward age friendly communities, and we strongly support the inclusion of dementia friendly measures within that movement.”

The intent of today’s announcement is to create local programs that engage community resources to raise awareness about dementia in local communities. It will improve opportunities for people with dementia and their carers being better supported by people living with and around them, and living independently for as long as possible.

Mr Yates said” “Australia needs to much better prepared for a growing ageing population with many more people living with dementia and this is a good step in that direction”.

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774

COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.