Fight Dementia Campaign

The Fight Dementia Campaign continues

Although it was hard work trying to get dementia and aged care on the political agenda during the 2013 Federal Election we have achieved a positive outcome through the Coalition’s Healthy Life, Better Ageing policy, which sets out at a high level how the coalition will take forward the aged care reforms.

The Coalition made the commitment during its election campaign to invest $200 million over five years in dementia research. This commitment will give Australians hope that future generations might escape this chronic disease through a better understanding of dementia and how to modify its progression. Alzheimer’s Australia looks forward to working with the Minister, and Assistant Minister, for Social Services on strategies to maximise the use of these precious resources.

There is also an important recognition in the Coalition’s policy on the provision of high quality of aged care. This will be a significant challenge for the new Ministers and Alzheimer’s Australia looks forward to working with them to ensure effective strategies are in place to improve the quality of care. Those strategies should include:

  • an independent cost of care study in residential care to ensure funding is adequate for the provision of high quality care
  • cultural change in training to achieve respect and person-centred care
  • regulatory actions to address the over prescription of antipsychotic medications. For example, public reporting on the use of these medications and physical restraints on theMyAge website
  • making sure complaints that relate to medication and physical restraints are handled quickly and that Government guidelines on the use of psychotropic medication and restraints are strictly observed
  • financial incentives—as is now the case through the Living Longer. Living Better dementia supplements—to ensure there is extra funding available for the more difficult care tasks
  • access to better medical care.

Alzheimer’s Australia also welcomes the recognition in the Coalition’s policy of the need for a more simplified information system to assist older Australians and their families to access the information they need.

The top priorities in our advocacy remain further progressing the aged care reforms, improving access to services and support, dementia research funding, and a new National Action Framework on dementia supported by Commonwealth State and Territory Ministers.

Over the coming months, we will be working with our consumers to get their input to our top priorities.

Thank you to all our Dementia Champions and consumers who supported our campaign—your support is critical to achieving the changes in our health and aged care system that will improve quality of life for people with dementia.

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