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More dementia care in Melbourne’s west.

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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

More dementia care in Melbourne’s west

22 April 2005 JB044/05

Older Australians in Melbourne’s west will have more access to aged care in their local community with the opening of a new 12-place dementia wing at Lynchs Bridge Aged Care Facility in Kensington, today by the Acting Minister for Health and Ageing, and Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop.

Lynchs Bridge, which now has a total of 57 residential places, is operated by Doutta Galla Aged Services Ltd. The home has received more than $4 million in Australian Government funding over the past four years.

Ms Bishop congratulated Doutta Galla for establishing the dementia-specific aged care places, which would help to meet the needs of local people with the condition.

"The number of people with living with dementia, and those caring for them, is expected to grow as our population ages," Ms Bishop said.

"The Australian Government has committed $200 million to make dementia an Australian Government National Health Priority, which will boost funding for research, education and training, and treatment and support for people with dementia and their families and carers. This funding is in addition to the $2.6 billion expended each year on dementia research, care and management programs."

Ms Bishop said the new wing demonstrated how the partnership between the Australian Government, local communities and aged care providers was delivering better standards of aged care accommodation for older Australians.

The Australian Government will build on this with a further estimated 5,000 new aged care places being allocated to Victoria over the next three years," Ms Bishop said.

In Victoria this means 863 new residential care places, 1,127 Community Aged Care Packages (low level care delivered at home), and 225 Extended Aged Care at Home places (high level care delivered at home) this year. These will be followed by an estimated 1,267 new places in 2006-07 and 1,455 places in 2007-08.

"We are able to provide funding for these places because of our strong and disciplined economic management over the past nine years, which will enable us to invest $30 billion into aged care over the next four years," Ms Bishop said.

"By allocating these places and this funding the Australian Government is realising our vision for a world class system of aged care that provides high quality, affordable and accessible services to meet the individual needs and choices of older Victorians.

"In contrast the former Labor Government left a 10,000 aged care place shortage when it left office, and in the recent Federal election Labor did not allocate a single extra cent for more aged care places."

Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289