POSITIVE POLICY

A National Dementia Strategy

A Shorten Labor Government will partner with Alzheimer’s Australia to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their families, through the development of a National Dementia Strategy and the creation of dementia-friendly communities across the country.

Dementia is not simply an aged care issue - it is a chronic health condition with social and economic implications.

People living with dementia are more than the sum of their symptoms. They deserve to live with dignity, support and security.

With more than 350,000 Australians affected by dementia, it is important to tackle this fatal disease. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of disability in people over the age of 65 years.

Without a medical breakthrough, close to one million Australians will have dementia by 2050. Each week there are more than 1,800 new cases of dementia in Australia – that is about one person every six minutes. By 2050 that is expected to grow to 7,400 new cases.

Dementia costs the economy around $5 billion annually.  It is on track to become the third greatest source of health and residential aged care spending within two decades, representing around one percent of GDP.

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $25 million to help make Australia a dementia-friendly nation and address the increasing incidence of dementia.

This will include:

  • Developing a National Dementia Strategy to ensure a coordinated national approach to the issue.
  • Supporting Alzheimer’s Australia to roll out the internationally renowned Dementia Friends program across Australia.
  • Establishing a dementia-friendly resource and collaboration hub.
  • Supporting local communities to become dementia-friendly.
  • Conducting two trials for respite models, to support those who provide care to people living with dementia.

A Shorten Labor Government will actively lead the way to ensure Australia is equipped and prepared to manage the increasing incidence of dementia.

Only Labor will put people living with dementia, their carers and those who provide formal care and services first.

For more information on Labor’s plans to address dementia see: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/national_dementia_strategy_fact_sheet