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A$3.55 mln more funding to support people with dementia

01 May, 2007

Victorians with dementia, their families and carers will benefit from a $3.55 million funding boost from the Bracks Government, Community Services Minister Gavin Jennings has said.

Visiting Ballarat, Jennings said the funding included $3.3 million from the 2007-08 State Budget to reduce waiting lists for assessment services, support people with dementia and also support their carers with respite services.

Some 53,000 Victorians now have dementia and this number could be as high as 62,000 within the next three years, Jennings said.

"Caring for someone with dementia is a demanding full time job and Ballarat Health Services have an outstanding approach to this challenge. I am pleased to announce $50,000 to support the rollout of this model of care to five additional hospitals as part of a major boost in funding for dementia support."

Jennings said the 2007-08 State Budget funded several initiatives to strengthen the Bracks Government's support for people suffering dementia including:

"$1.35 million for the 15 Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics across Victoria, to provide early diagnosis of dementia and assist people to find support; $1.4 million to support carers of people with dementia with respite services including $150,000 from the 2006-07 budget; $350,000 to develop dementia-friendly physical and social environments in respite and public sector facilities. A published guide for organisations will soon be available; $350,000 to develop and provide culturally sensitive dementia information and services such as respite or various types of support including counselling in different languages."

Jennings said hospitals would also be able to apply to share $50,000 in funding for carer-friendly environments such as dedicated spaces for carers to talk or take time out.

"Victoria has a higher incidence and prevalence of dementia than other states due to our ageing population and it is increasingly important to support the people caring for those suffering from this debilitating condition," he said.

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