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Govt to improve dementia support for all Australians

10 November, 2015

The Turnbull Government will build improved and nationally consistent dementia support services for all Australians following independent analysis released on 5 November 2015 that described a system with a "lack of consistency and coordination".

Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley said it was critical that older people with dementia and their carers received the same level of care, no matter where they lived or the service they attended.

Ley said the report looked at specific dementia education, training and additional support programmes – not core aged care services funding.

"The number of Australians with dementia is predicted to grow to over one million people in the next 40 years and currently 1.2 million Australians are involved in the care of someone with the disease," Ley said.

"I’m committed to ensuring that people have confidence that the support services they are receiving are consistent right across the country."

Ley said the independent analysis, conducted by KPMG, identified a "lack of national consistency and coordination of workforce education and training services" and highlighted "unmet needs within some consumer cohorts".

Ley said, while the report made a number of recommendations about the path forward, the Turnbull Government would consult with the Aged Care industry before announcing its response to the report by the end of the year.

"The independent report has painted a variable and inconsistent picture of dementia support services from programme to programme and state to state," Ley said.

"The aged care sector must play a part in the development of any policies and work hand-in-hand with Government to develop a truly national approach to improve their national alignment, coordination and effectiveness.

"People with dementia are some of the most vulnerable in the community and it is imperative that we get the mix of support services available to them and their carers right."

Ley said the consultation would begin tomorrow at the second annual Ministerial Dementia Forum.

KPMG conducted a nationwide consultation process that included all capital cities and five regional centres.

The Coalition Government is committed to support and promote dementia research including already announcing this year committing $35.6 million for National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Dementia Research Team Grants and the establishment of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research. Last month the Government also announced $43 million for 76 Dementia Research Development Fellowships.

The analysis can be found at www.dss.gov.au/dementia

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