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Budget 2018: Dementia Australia welcomes $5 billion Federal Government funding for aged care

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Dementia Australia welcomes $5 billion Federal


funding for aged care


Tuesday 8 May 2018

Dementia Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s $5 billion dollar commitment

to the aged care sector in its budget, which will ensure better access, better quality and

overall better ageing for all Australians.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the budget included many measures that

would significantly improve the aged care experience of millions of Australians.

Applauding the $1.6 billion towards 14,000 higher level home care packages announced by

the Federal Government today, Ms McCabe said this was a welcome move for thousands

of people still waiting for higher level care for their complex needs, many of them living with


“We welcome this injection of funds for aged care, and it is encouraging to see the funding

for higher-care packages to enable people to remain living in the community,” Ms McCabe


“This funding will go towards helping thousands of Australians who are on the waiting list to

receive home care packages, with some people waiting more than 12 months to receive

support. Further work is needed to address the support needed for the remaining tens of

thousands of Australians who will remain on the waiting list.”

Dementia Australia is also pleased to see additional funding measures to support urgent

maintenance and infrastructure for regional providers as well as $105 million to enable

better access to aged care for our first elders.

“It is great to see funding specifically allocated to rural, regional and remote aged care and

to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to cultural-sensitivity projects,” Ms McCabe said.

“We are also very pleased to note that the budget includes measures that will address elder

abuse in our communities, including the development of a National Plan to address elder


The $5.3 million allocated for dementia innovation, which will benefit people living with

dementia, is a welcome initiative.

“Dementia Australia has been spearheading technological innovation across dementia care,

especially in the area of virtual reality and immersive educational experiences,” Ms McCabe


“This approach allows health care professionals and carers the opportunity to enter the

world of the person living with dementia and gain greater empathy into their experience.”


Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia was particularly pleased to note the new funding

commitment of $7.4 million to trial navigator services to assist people seeking information

about aged care to make decisions that are right for them.

“Our experience has shown that early intervention supports can be crucial in enabling

people to remain in the community, and prevent admissions to hospital and presentations

to emergency departments,” she said.

The budget includes many measures that Dementia Australia has called for including

establishment of the new aged care safety and quality commission from 2019.

The commission will be supported by other significant measures such as the $50 million for

a Quality Care Fund, $32.6 million to enhance the regulation of aged care provider quality,

and $8.8 million to improve the transparency of information on aged care provider quality.

“While we welcome the additional $5 billion in funding that will flow into aged care over the

next four years, Dementia Australia would like to see a focus on government better

supporting vulnerable seniors such as people living with dementia across the country.

“The gap in this budget is that dementia is not recognised as core business. More than 50

per cent of residents in aged care have a diagnosis of dementia and many more remain

undiagnosed,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia is one of the largest health and social challenges facing Australia with more than

425,000 Australians living with dementia.

There are more than 100 types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most

common. Currently, an estimated 250 people are joining the population with dementia each


The number of people living with dementia in Australia is expected to increase to more than

1.1 million by 2056 in the absence of a significant medical breakthrough.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians and the leading cause of

death among Australian women.

In 2018, dementia is estimated to cost Australia more than $15 billion and the total cost of

dementia is expected to be more than $36.8 billion by 2056.

“We welcome the additional funding that has been provided from the government for aged

care and health, but dementia must be explicitly acknowledged and recognised as a public

health challenge,” Ms McCabe said.

“Without such action, dementia is taking an enormous toll on individuals, our community,

our health and aged care systems and our economy and it will continue to do so.

“Building the community’s capacity to address dementia now will save billions in lost

productivity for the years to come as well as improving the welfare of millions of

Australians, who are impacted by dementia.”


Dementia Australia will continue to work with people with dementia, families and carers,

government and other stakeholders to ensure quality dementia supports and services are

embedded into service planning, delivery and workforce education ensuring people living

with dementia are supported to live the best quality of life possible.


Media contacts:

Christine Bolt 0400 004 553

and Monika

Boogs 0407 019 430

Dementia Australia is the national peak body 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 425,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is

projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. Dementia Australia is the new voice of

Alzheimer’s Australia.

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

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to the

Dementia-Friendly Language