The Liberal National Government is investing $10 million in the establishment of a Dementia Centre of Excellence to be located at Curtin University’s Bentley Campus.
The funding will go towards building the Centre’s infrastructure, with a further $10 million from Curtin University to fund the fit-out, implementation of the Centre’s activities and to support an initial research program.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Liberal National Government is committed to supporting older Australians and the ageing population.
“Dementia remains the number one cause of disability in Australia for people aged 65 years and over with an estimated 244 new cases diagnosed every day in Australia,” Minister Hunt said.
“We can help people delay dementia, avoid dementia by ensuring excellent care assistance through a facility dedicated to supporting caregivers and people living with dementia.”
“Accelerating innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of dementia is a priority of our Government,” Minister Hunt said. The Dementia Centre of Excellence will see evidence-based strategies brought into the community quickly and effectively to improve the lives of people with, and at risk of dementia.
The Centre will be a platform for an integrated research program focussed on improved approaches to health and independence for people living with dementia and their caregivers.
It will also have the capacity to effectively translate research findings to change practice in health and care provision for people with dementia. Federal Member for Swan, Steve Irons said the Centre of Excellence will make Swan home to extensive and comprehensive research and support programs for people living with dementia.
“Curtin University has continued to be at the forefront of dementia research here in WA for more than a decade so it’s the obvious choice as the home for the Dementia Centre of Excellence,” Mr Irons said.
“The Dementia Centre of Excellence is the culmination of years of extensive research projects undertaken by the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).”
“As a member of the Health Committee that ran the inquiry into Dementia, I’ve been passionate about better care for people with dementia for many years and I thank the Minister for his support and focus on WA.”
“We must continue to invest in and promote early intervention programs like those that will be offered at the Dementia Centre (of Excellence) because it makes a massive difference in the long term quality of life of both the patient and carers.”
“We want to assist people with dementia to remain independent for as long as possible, and increase opportunities for them to continue social engagement and community participation,” Mr Irons said.
In 2017, there were 413,000 people living with dementia, and 291,000 caregivers of people with dementia in Australia.
Without a medical breakthrough, the number of Australians living with dementia is expected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2056.
The Liberal National Government is committed to ensuring Australians of all ages have access to the support they need to face life’s challenges.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into health initiatives such as the Dementia Centre of Excellence, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.