It been a heated week in the media reporting on the heightening Alzheimer’s related issues after the release of two reports, the first being the Summary Report of The Conversations on Ageing compiled by Hon. Mark Butler and COTA (Council on the Ageing Australia) and the second is the Alzheimer’s Australia Report. Following the release of the report there have been media reports on Jeanne Little’s battle with Dementia and the death of former Deputy Prime Minister Lionel Bowen who also suffered with the disease.
Currently, Dementia is the single biggest age-related disease facing Australians. Its incidence is soaring with 1,600 new cases every week yet there is no cure. Without a major research breakthrough, the prevalence of Dementia will double over the next 20 years.
Alzheimer's Australia wants $500 million to be allocated in this year's budget to help Dementia awareness, research and specialised care across the health system. Mark Butler states “In some cases more than 50 per cent of residents in nursing homes have Dementia diagnoses. So making sure that staff have the training, making sure that facilities have the systems in place to deal with Dementia is a very strong focus of our aged care reform”. Other concerning reports have also risen with shocking claims that the Government will actually slash more than $2million in funding for the Aged Care sector in relation to ACFI funding in an attempt to bring the budget to surplus. Rod Young, CEO of the ACAA (Aged Care Association Australia) was quotes stating “A reduction of this size would mean an almost 25 per cent loss in income and lead to near collapse of the industry, the budget surplus should not be at the expense of Australia’s most vulnerable and dependent elderly citizens”