The Chair of Dementia Australia addresses the National Press Club, outlining his roadmap for quality dementia care:
With half a million Australians living with dementia and the second leading cause of death in Australia, there needs to be a significant commitment to dementia care made by the Federal Government - reflected in real action, not just words.
The frustrations and fears felt by people living with dementia and carers are devastating. They have contributed in good faith, for many years to reviews and enquiries and now have entrusted their lived experience expertise to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Dementia is a progressive, terminal disease. People living with dementia cannot put their symptoms on pause while waiting for change. They are so disheartened that to date little action has been taken.
The federal government has been provided with a clear plan on what is needed to deliver quality dementia care – to implement immediate and long-term, sustainable and transformational change to the aged care system. This is a plan for the future of dementia care and support that has been framed by extensive engagement and consultation with the health, research and aged care sectors - and most importantly with people with a lived experience of dementia.
Our most vulnerable members of the community have entrusted their experiences of dementia and the system to the Royal Commission. It’s time to acknowledge the importance of these voices and implement change - and all Australians impacted by dementia are counting on it.
Now the final report and recommendations by the Royal Commission have been released the government have all they need to seize this once in a generation opportunity to transform dementia care and the aged care system overall.
There is no more time for delay. We must act now.