Call to ensure people living with dementia are sufficiently supported in Federal Budget

The unprecedented social distancing measures and restrictions that have had to be implemented this year to curb the spread of Covid-19 have had a significant impact on people living with dementia – their families and carers.

In light of this, Dementia Australia is calling on the Federal Government to ensure people living with dementia are sufficiently supported in next month’s Federal Budget 2020-2021.

“Dementia Australia is experiencing an increase in demand for support as a result of these unintended consequences of social distancing and extended and increased isolation,” says Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe.

“The mental health of people living with dementia is being significantly impacted, resulting in a decline in cognitive functioning and the loss of abilities for many, as a result of changes to routine, lack of mental stimulation and social isolation.

“These are abilities that many people with dementia will be unable to recover. There is also a subsequent flow-on impact for carers.”

Dementia Australia has outlined a pre-budget submission that will address the mental health challenges that informal carers are experiencing, address the trajectory of cognitive decline that people living with dementia are experiencing, and support aged care providers to build the capacity of their staff to deliver quality dementia care.

This submission is reportedly based on the experience being conveyed by people impacted by dementia, and also service providers.

“The impact of the second wave of Covid-19, on Victorian residential aged care services in particular, has exacerbated existing challenges in the aged care system, including the capacity of the workforce, clinical governance and the challenge of balancing the individual care and wellbeing needs of residents with the safety of all living or working in the service,” says Ms McCabe.

“With an investment of just over $7.4 million in 2020-21, the Federal Government can ease some of these negative impacts by ensuring that people impacted by dementia receive outreach and early intervention, online social support and quality care in residential aged care facilities.

“We look forward to working with the federal government to improve the quality of support and care provided to all people impacted by dementia.”

To view Dementia Australia’s 2020-21 Federal Pre-Budget Submission, visit: https://www.dementia.org.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/Dementia-Australia-Revised-2020-21-Federal-Pre-Budget-Submission.pdf

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