Dementia Australia welcomes additional investment in health and social services initiatives

Wednesday 2 April 2018

Dementia Australia has welcomed the Northern Territory Government’s investment of $1.56 billion for health services in the Territory.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said an investment in the primary healthcare system goes some way towards benefiting people living with dementia by helping to provide a more timely diagnosis and early intervention.

The Northern Territory has 1,749 people living with dementia and that number is expected to increase to 5,662 by 2056 without a significant medical breakthrough.[1]

“Dementia Australia also applauds an additional $15.5 million in funding for assessment, withdrawal and specialised alcohol treatment which will benefit Territorians by helping to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

“The estimated prevalence of dementia in the Indigenous population (aged 45 years and older) in the Northern Territory was 3.7 per 100 compared to 1.1 in the non-indigenous population in 2011.[2]

“The NT Indigenous population also has a higher prevalence and incidence of younger onset dementia (dementia in people under the age of 65 years) compared with non-Indigenous people.

“Additional funding for risk-reduction strategies is always welcome to assist in combating chronic diseases across the entire community,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia Australia also welcomes the $4.4 million investment to promote and protect the interest of adults with impaired decision making capacity.

“Dementia is a neurodegenerative condition that increasingly diminishes a person’s capacity to make informed decisions,” Ms McCabe said.

“The $4.4 million in funding aimed at providing information, education, advocacy and support will also enable people living with dementia, their carers and families to also access these support services.”

Although the continued investment in health initiatives in the Northern Territory is notable, Ms McCabe added that it was vital to embed specific funding and supports for people living with dementia in the broader health system as it was a pressing social and public health challenge.

“The greatest percentage increase in the number of people with dementia in Australia over the next 40 years was expected to occur in the Northern Territory,” she said.

-Ends-

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 436,000 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

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 the 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 Li et al. (2014) Dementia prevalence and incidence among the indigenous and non-indigenous population of the Northern Territory, MJA 2014; 200 ; 465-469