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Election 2016: Labor's positive plan to improve the lives of those living with dementia



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THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

MEMBER FOR BLAIR

SENATOR HELEN POLLEY

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR AGED CARE SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

LABOR’S POSITIVE PLAN TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF THOSE LIVING WITH

DEMENTIA

A Shorten Labor Government will partner with Alzheimer’s Australia to improve the

lives of those living with dementia and their families, through the development of a

National Dementia Strategy and the creation of dementia friendly communities across

the country.

Dementia is not simply an aged care issue - it is a chronic health condition with social

and economic implications.

People living with dementia are more than the sum of their symptoms. They deserve

to live with dignity, support and security.

With more than 350,000 Australians affected by dementia, it is important to tackle this

fatal disease. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the

leading cause of disability in people over the age of 65 years.

Without a medical breakthrough, close to one million Australians will have dementia by

2050. Each week there are more than 1,800 new cases of dementia in Australia - that

is about one person every six minutes. By 2050 that is expected to grow to 7,400 new

cases.

Dementia costs the economy around $5 billion annually. It is on track to become the

third greatest source of health and residential aged care spending within two decades,

representing around one percent of GDP.

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $25 million to help make Australia a

dementia-friendly nation and address the increasing incidence of dementia.

This will include:

 Developing a National Dementia Strategy to ensure a coordinated national

approach to the issue.

 Supporting Alzheimer’s Australia to roll out the internationally renowned

Dementia Friends program across Australia.

 Establishing a dementia-friendly resource and collaboration hub.

 Supporting local communities to become dementia-friendly.

 Conducting two trials for respite models, to support those who provide care to people living with dementia.

Labor’s plan will see more communities embracing a dementia-friendly approach and

demonstrating support for those with dementia, as well as vulnerable members of

society more generally. This approach is based on international evidence and people

living with dementia and their families will play a central role in driving it.

Local communities will be supported to develop local Dementia Action Plans which

can include changes to streetscape and public buildings, peer support services for

people living with dementia, their families and carers, or widespread awareness and

education for the general community. Local advocates will also receive training and

resources to better raise awareness of dementia and how to better support people

living with dementia in their community.

Labor will also invest in trialing and evaluating consumer-led models of respite in two

areas of high need - the Inner South West of Sydney and the NSW Central Coast.

People living with dementia often find it difficult to access appropriate respite care, and

carers repeatedly identify good respite care as an important support for a sustainable

caring relationship.

Labor has a strong record in this area. In 2012, the previous Labor Government made

dementia the ninth National Health Priority Area and funded the development of the

world’s first risk-reduction program, Your Brain Matters.

A Shorten Labor Government will actively lead the way to ensure Australia is equipped

and prepared to manage the increasing incidence of dementia.

Only Labor will put people living with dementia, their carers and those who provide

formal care and services first.

For more information on Labor’s plans to address dementia see

www.100positivepolicies.org.au/national_dementia_strategy_fact_sheet.

FRIDAY 17 JUNE 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: BENJAMIN MULCAHY (NEUMANN) 0400 167 558

GRACE FINCH (POLLEY) 0422 859 471