Dementia Australia welcomes Tasmanian Government’s spending on health services

Friday 15 June 2018

Dementia Australia welcomes the Tasmanian Government’s announcement in yesterday’s budget that it will spend additional funds on acute public services and mental health.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said it was excellent to see the funding of $202.3 million for recurrent and capital initiatives to support acute hospital services.

“People with dementia are high users of hospital and acute services, with about one in four people living with dementia, being admitted to hospital every year,” she said.

“They also experience worse clinical outcomes including longer stays in hospital and higher mortality than those who do not have dementia.

“Additional funding for acute services will provide people living with dementia appropriate access to acute care, if and when they need it.”

Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia also welcomed the $40.2 million to support state-wide and mental health services.

“Forty-four per cent of people, who live with dementia in residential aged care facilities, also have a mental health condition,” she said.[1]

“We encourage the Tasmanian Government to allocate some of this funding to provide better mental health services for people living with dementia, both in the community and in residential aged care facilities. Dementia Australia would be very pleased to work with Government to assist with this work."

Ms McCabe said that dementia remained a pressing social and public health challenge facing Tasmania.

“In 2018, there is an estimated 10,888 people living with dementia in Tasmania,” she said.

“Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to increase to an estimated 21,220 people by 2056.”

In 2016, 295 Tasmanians died from dementia, which is the second leading cause of death for all Australians and the leading cause of death for Australian women.[2]

There are more than 100 types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common.

While the additional funding on health was welcome, Ms McCabe said that it was imperative that governments fund dementia-specific programs and services as well.

“With the prevalence of dementia to continue to increase both in Tasmania and Australia, it is vital that services and programs are provided for people living with dementia, their carers and families to enable them to live better and receive the respect and dignity they deserve.”

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Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity 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. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.

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; or Monika Boogs (M) 0407 019 430 or monika.boogs@dementia.org.au

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