Dementia Australia calls for government action as list of older Australians waiting for home care grows

Friday 28 June 2019

Dementia Australia has urged the Federal Government to take action to better support the more than 129,000 older Australians who are waiting to receive home care packages. 

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said as the prevalence of dementia continues to increase so does the need for home care packages.

“Currently, around 70 per cent of the more than 447,000 Australians with dementia live in the community. An increase of home care packages will help more Australians to live at home for as long as possible and be supported in achieving this. Ms McCabe said.

According to the Home Care Packages Program Report released this month, the waitlist has increased by 1290 people, with over 75,000 people still waiting for an appropriate level of home care. 

Ms McCabe said the consequences of a lack of support are devastating and far reaching – severely impairing the quality of life for the person living with dementia and their loved ones who often stop or change their own life to become a primary carer.

“We know there is much more to be done to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is estimated to more than double by 2058 to almost 1.1 million,” Ms McCabe said.

It is essential that we work with Government and providers to put in place the services and early intervention supports needed to help people live well at home for as long as possible.

“Our experience has shown that early intervention is crucial in enabling people to remain in the community, and avoid premature entry into residential aged care.

“In light of the report findings, Dementia Australia urges the Federal Government to provide better support for people living with dementia and indeed all seniors in the community.

“Australians living with dementia, their families and carers should not have to wait until April 2020 when the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hands down its recommendations when urgent action is required now to meet their needs.”

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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 447,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. 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                                               www.dementia.org.au

Media contacts: Fiona Wade Manager Media & Communications, fiona.wade@dementia.org.au, 0407 019 430; Gabrielle Prabhu Senior Media & Communications Advisor, gabrielle.prabhu@dementia.org.au, 0447 253 583. 
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.
*Dementia Action Week will replace the annual Dementia Awareness Month campaign.