Dementia Australia has welcomed the announcement this week by the Australian Government of a commitment to extend essential funding for national dementia program delivery until the end of June 2022.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says the additional funding of $44 million is important to provide stability of service delivery for people living with dementia, families and carers, as well as staff in the sector, particularly during these challenging times.
“The programs help deliver quality dementia care by providing ongoing support and advice to family and informal carers, primary and acute care staff and aged care service providers,” Ms McCabe says.
“For the sector to deliver appropriate dementia care as a consistent and integral part of aged care, we must ensure an adequate supply of trained aged care workers that are well supported and led.
“Dementia Australia has long advocated for mandatory workforce training in dementia care, as a well-skilled workforce is essential to improving the quality of care provided to people living with dementia.”
She says that dementia prevalence in residential aged care is significant with estimates suggesting that just over two-thirds of all people living in residential aged care have moderate to severe cognitive impairment.
“Equally, the growing number of people living with dementia in the community requires this same level of fundamental dementia education to be provided to those working in community aged care,” she says.
“The ongoing investment in services to improve dementia care is a fundamental need of the sector. Dementia Australia now looks forward to further commitments from the Australian Government following the release of the Aged Care Royal Commission’s report, when broad-ranging policy options will need to be considered to build further the capacity of the aged care sector.”