Dementia peak body welcomes the appointment of Robert Fitzgerald AM as NSW’s Ageing and Disability Commissioner

Monday 1 July 2019

Dementia Australia congratulates Robert Fitzgerald AM for his appointment as New South Wales’ first Ageing and Disability Commissioner. 

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said it was excellent to see the New South Wales Government’s commitment to this new appointment, especially as the number of people living with dementia continues to rise. 

“In 2019, there are more than 149,000 people living with dementia in New South Wales, and this is expected to rise to approximately 345,000 people by 2058,” Ms McCabe said.

“With more than 50 per cent of people in residential aged care living with a dementia diagnosis, it is clear that dementia must be factored into all plans to improve ageing and disability services.  

“Dementia Australia has been calling for a public advocate in New South Wales for several years to ensure people living with dementia, their families and carers are receiving the best, quality dementia care. 

Mr Fitzgerald will lead the Commission to ensure adults with disability and seniors across New South Wales are protected. He will have the capacity to help the community spot cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation through education and awareness programs.

“Unfortunately older people living with dementia can be more susceptible to abuse, especially financial abuse as their dementia progresses and cognitive abilities decline,” Ms McCabe said. 

“It is a complex issue and I look forward to working with Mr Fitzgerald and the New South Wales Government to protect vulnerable, older Australians, including those living with dementia.”  

Local support and information is available for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, and their families and carers at www.dementia.org.au or via the National Dementia Helpline by free-calling 1800 100 500.

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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 438,000 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: 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.