The Australian Greens have launched their comprehensive Dementia Initiative in Perth today, saying Australia faces a growing epidemic of dementia in coming years.
Greens Health spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert says dementia care costs Australia an estimated $5.4 billion per annum, with the number of Australians with dementia set to double by 2030.
“Dementia is the largest single cause of disability in older Australians, and is the third largest cause of death,” Senator Siewert said today.
“The impact on our health and care system is expected to rise dramatically in coming decades. By 2030 the number of Australians with dementia will double to 592,000 and then almost double again to around 1.13 million by 2050.
“The Greens support the vision for a world class dementia care system put forward by Alzheimer’s Australia. This is a serious issue which our current health, aged and community care systems are ill-prepared to face,” said Senator Siewert.
The Greens policy calls for an investment of $70 million over 4 years, prioritising intervention and diagnosis, along with support for carers and those living with dementia.
“Dementia is expected to become the third greatest source of health and residential aged care spending within the next two decades,” said Senator Siewert.
“It is clear that we need to be putting more effort and resources into research and development on the causes and prevention of dementia,” Senator Siewert concluded.
Download the Greens Dementia Initiative
The Greens plan includes:
- Prioritising early intervention and diagnosis
- Increased funding for dementia research and development
- Extension of the National Dementia Support Program for people living with dementia
- Public Education and Community awareness campaign
- A Dementia Care Workforce strategy
- Extending Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services
- A National Quality Dementia Care Knowledge Network
- Increased support for Community Care
- Improved dementia care services in residential care