More than 70 people living with dementia and their carers have outlined priorities to improve dementia care in Australia.
PHOTO: More than 70 people living with dementia and their carers attended a two-day National Consumer Summit at Parliament House in Canberra this month.
The actions, identified as needing immediate attention to improve dementia care, were presented to Parliamentarians after a two-day National Consumer Summit at Parliament House in Canberra earlier this month.
The communique has been developed by consumers from across the country to help shape the beginnings of a National Dementia Strategy and is based on experiences of people living with dementia and their knowledge of what would make a difference in their lives.
Mike Bryan who was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease two years ago attended the Summit with his wife and carer Linda Bryan.
“It is important for consumers like me to be included in the Summit,” Mr Bryan says.
“Especially with a diagnosis of dementia, I have an important contribution to make to the discussion around the funding for dementia and the way in which we are supported by the Government and the Community. It’s about improving the future situation for people who have been diagnosed with dementia.”
Mrs Bryan says it is critical that consumers are the drivers of future policy around dementia.
“I am pleased to be in a forum in which I have a real say in the issues that confront me as a carer. My hope is that the recommendations from this Summit will result in a workable and fully-funded model for dementia care that is truly consumer-directed,” she says.
Consumers unanimously called for a funded National Dementia Strategy with measurable outcomes which builds on the National Framework for Action on Dementia 2015-2019.
The strategy should address priorities like the stigma and discrimination associated with dementia and support social inclusion and participation, improve access to timely diagnosis and high quality health care, and provide care and support in the community supporting independence, social engagement and effective support for informal carers.
The communique also calls for access to high quality residential care and publically available information about consumer experience and quality of care, improvement of end of life care and support for people with dementia, the implementation of Consumer Directed Care for people with dementia and their carers and the commitment to increase investment in dementia research.
Alzheimer’s Australia National President Professor Graeme Samuel AC says: “our consumers have articulated a vision for dementia in Australia, on behalf of the other 353,000 people living with the condition across the country.
“It is important we take the unanimous voice of our consumers to the policy makers who influence legislation to improve the quality of life for all those living with dementia and their families and carers.”
Read more at: https://news.agedcareguide.com.au/2016/03/29/take-action-to-improve-dementia-care/