Turnbull Government has committed $200m to research on dementia

The Australian Government welcomes today’s release of the Alzheimer’s Australia report on the economic cost of dementia in Australia.

Page last updated: 16 February 2017

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16 February 2017

The Turnbull Government welcomes today’s release of the Alzheimer’s Australia report on the economic cost of dementia in Australia.

The report says dementia will cost Australia $14.7 billion in 2017 and a 5 per cent reduction in the incidence of dementia would save $5.7 billion over 10 years.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Government had committed $200m over five years to dementia research, which underlined the Government’s priority on this issue.

“This is a key area for research for the Government, given that there is no cure and early detection of dementia can slow its onset,” he said.

“Also, this is a priority area for the Turnbull Government because the population cohort aged 65 years and over is forecast to more than double over the next 40 years to around 9 million 2054-55.

“Currently, more than 350,000 Australians are affected by dementia—it’s one of the priority health challenges of our times.”

Mr Wyatt said early this year it was planned to release a new National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions, which would move away from a disease-specific approach to a more effective, co-ordinated national response (including dementia) and their risk factors.

He said he was disappointed that Labor had falsely claimed today that the Government had not given priority to dementia.

Mr Wyatt said the Government was also investing $52.2m on dementia-specific support programs in 2016-17. These include:

    • The suite of dementia consumer support services delivered by Alzheimer’s Australia, which includes a helpline, information, counselling, early intervention courses, carer education and awareness raising activities
    • The Dementia Training Program offers accredited education, upskilling and professional development to health, allied health, aged care and community care professionals
    • The Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) provides support to aged care workers, health professionals and family carers who need help caring for someone experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)
    • Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) form the second tier of behaviour management support. The SBRTs support people in Commonwealth-funded residential aged care who have severe BPSD.
Mr Wyatt also congratulated Maree McCabe as the new Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Australia and he looked forward to continuing to work closely with Alzheimer’s Australia.

“We are also working with Alzheimer’s Australia to redesign government-funded consumer supports to ensure people living with dementia benefit from a range of assistance from diagnosis through to end of life care,” he said.

“Our clear goal is that every Australian living with dementia will have access to the same quality of care, tailored to their needs, no matter where they live or who they are.”

For more information contact Randal Markey, Media Adviser, 0417 318 620
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