BRISBANE, Australia – Dementia care is on the top priority of the Opposition, in line with their vision for old aged Australians.
Dementia Australia, a national body that supports people living with any form of dementia, recognizes Hon. Anthony Albanese MP, the Leader of the Opposition, for putting emphasis and priority towards the urgent need for much better care for people with dementia in the country during his speech yesterday.
During his address in Brisbane, Mr. Albanese outlined the vision of the Labor Party concerning ways to provide aid for a much better lifestyle for old aged Australians. The Leader of the Opposition highlighted the utmost importance of providing better facility and dementia-friendly spaces in all communities in the country. Mr. Albanese also explained the impact of dementia in Australia, which, according to him, has affected nearly half a million citizens.
Meanwhile, according to Maree McCabe, the chief executive of Dementia Australia, the number of people in Australia affected by dementia is expected to increase to around one million by 2058.
Dementia Australia is a governing body and a charity organization in the country that offers help for Australians of all ages, who are suffering from all forms of dementia, including their families and caregivers. The organization provides support services, advocacy, information, and education about the condition to everyone affected by it and the general public as well.
According to Dementia Australia, there are currently an estimated 459,000 Australian people who have dementia and around 1.6 million Australians, either family or caregiver, that are involved with their care firsthand. This recent number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Specifically, the agency predicts that it will reach nearly 1.1 million people living with dementia in 2058.
Dementia Australia is the latest launch of Alzheimer’s Australia that offers various kinds of services for Australians that are supported by the government.
Back on Ms. McCabe’s statement, she said that in the coming years, there would be no one in the country who will not be impacted by dementia, at least to some degree. Soon, she said, everyone will have a relation to the condition, whether by diagnosis or by knowing someone who is diagnosed with dementia.
She also explained that dementia is the top two cause of death of people in the country and the leading cause of mortality in Australian women. With these figures and rates, Ms. McCabe said that it was encouraging to her and the entire organization to see that the Labor Party included the condition in their primary focus for their care for older Australians.
Ms. McCabe further stated that dementia is a continuing condition in the 21st century. She said that with the massive impact that this condition has on the Australian people and their lifestyle, it needs to be taken seriously and to be considered a health priority by all parties, as well as all the independent MPs from all sectors of the government in the country.
The research published by Dementia Australia estimated the cost of the condition for all Australian citizens by 2025 would reach over $18 billion. The research also suggested that with the increase in prevalence, the costs are expected to rise as well. The projection of the costs for dementia in the country by 2056 is expected to reach more than $36 billion.
Based on the Federal Pre-Budget Submission of the organization, the total amount of funding sought for the one-year period from 2020 to 2021 is around $20 million. The primary priority of Dementia Australia, as stated in the submission, is for timely diagnosis and early prevention of dementia, which is estimated to cost more than $10 million. Other priorities of the organization are for quality dementia care and reducing dementia-related discrimination, which has a breakdown of funding of over $9.6 million and $1 million, respectively.
The organization also specifically outlined their plans and initiatives on the submission. And according to Dementia Australia, the funding investments they have outlined signify long-term savings for the Australian government. They also stated that with the Federal Government investing in such initiatives, it would show how they are genuine about making dementia a fundamental business in the country.
According to Ms. McCabe, confronting dementia and its impacts on the people as early as now will ultimately help save money when it comes to health and care for aged Australians for many years to come. Not to mention, she said that it would help improve their health, care outcomes, and the overall lifestyle for Australians of all ages who are diagnosed with dementia, their families, and caregivers.
She stated that planning for the dementia-related costs must be shown clearly with enough subsidy and support programs to help address the present and expected dementia-related challenges, especially since the budget announcement period is looming around.
The 2020-2021 Federal Pre-Budget Submission from Dementia Australia also outlined the initiative that could help built significant transformations that would impact the entire system to make the vision for better dementia care a reality sooner than later.
Ms. McCabe also extended her gratitude to the Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers, Emma McBride MP. She thanked Ms. McBride for her unmatched generosity, especially with sharing her experience and the impact of caring for both her father and grandmother, who were diagnosed with dementia.
The Dementia Australia CEO also explained that Ms. McBride has long been an active and firm advocate for dementia and has been making efforts to help in raising awareness for the condition for several years. Ms. McBride helped support the advocacy through leading her local initiative event called DIY Memory Walk and Jog and her work with the organization Central Coast Dementia Alliance.
Ms. McCabe further stated that in line with their elation with the Opposition prioritizing dementia for the better lifestyle of aged Australians, she is also looking forward to a more meaningful discussion with all political parties. She expressed her hopes of further talks about their visions for providing better dementia care for all Australians and in developing quality services, resources, and programs essential to make the much-needed difference to everyone in the country who are impacted with dementia.