Dementia Australia welcomes additional NDIS, mental health funding and highlights need for dementia focus

Thursday 21 June 2018

Dementia Australia has today welcomed the NSW Government’s $3.2 billion commitment to the NDIS transition, as well as $700 million towards a state-wide mental health infrastructure program.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the NDIS was an important initiative that was vital to supporting people with complex disabilities, like younger onset dementia, in the community.

“The additional funding in yesterday’s State budget to aid the transition, including $230 million for operational services until full transition to the non-governmental organisation sector, will be crucial in supporting the more than 8,000 people with younger onset dementia in NSW,”[1] she said.

Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia was pleased to see that the funding will ensure continuity of support for people as they transition to the NDIS.

“People with younger onset dementia often fall between the cracks of the disability, health, aged care and mental health systems and individual advocacy services, like the Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program, are critical for people living with dementia, their families and carers to navigate these complex systems,” she said.

Dementia Australia also welcomed the state wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, which it is hoped will support people living with dementia through a transformation of existing infrastructure. Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia particularly welcomed the $82.5 million for increased admission and community-based services across NSW.

Ms McCabe said that any additional funding in this area was welcomed since people with dementia often experienced mental health issues, with 44 per cent of people in residential aged care having a mental health condition.[2]

“While we welcome the additional disability and mental health funding, we do want to remind governments that dementia-specialist support is vital in meeting the unique needs of people living with dementia.”

With more than 142,000 people in NSW living with dementia, she emphasised that it was important to receive funding for dedicated services, capacity building and education, to ensure people impacted by dementia were supported in the way that they needed and deserved.[3]

 “There are more than 100 types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common. The number of people living with dementia in NSW is expected to increase to 326,108, by 2056 in the absence of a significant medical breakthrough.”

Dementia is the leading cause of death among Australian women and the second leading cause of deaths overall.

“Dementia is everyone’s business and it desperately requires well-funded support and services, responsive to local needs,” Ms McCabe said.

-Ends-

Dementia Australia is the national peak body 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.

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

Media contacts: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au and Monika Boogs 0407 019 430 monika.boogs@dementia.org.au

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.

 


[1] The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling NATSEM for Alzheimer’s Australia (2017). Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056.
[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) Dementia: Australia’s leading cause of death? Accessed online.
[3] The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling NATSEM for Alzheimer’s Australia (2017). Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056.