Aged care reform matters to the quality of life for 1.5 million people affected by dementia
21 March, 2011
Alzheimer’s Australia has submitted their response to the Productivity Commission‘s Draft Report on Aged Care for Older Australians.
Alzheimer's Australia welcomes the Draft Report of the Productivity Commission which sets out a new vision for aged care, one of greater choice, flexibility and personal responsibility. Alzheimer's Australia has long advocated for many of these transformational reforms including separation of accommodation and care, increased priority for community care, empowerment of consumers and greater flexibility in service delivery.
After extensive consultation with consumer networks, Alzheimer’s Australia has identified six priority areas that need attention in the final report:
- The impact of dementia on aged care - The reform of aged care needs to be underpinned by a comprehensive strategy to address dementia.
- The funding model - The new funding model needs to recognise the higher costs involved in caring for people with dementia, and the need for innovative funding for individuals from diverse backgrounds who have difficulty accessing care. Further action is needed on expanding choice of providers for respite and providing a trial of a cash option for both care and respite.
- The interface of the mental health sector, disability and aged care - The needs of individuals with severe behavioural symptoms and individuals with younger onset dementia will not be met until the structural barriers between the state-funded mental health system, the disability sector and the Commonwealth funded aged care systems are addressed.
- Gateway - People have different pathways of accessing services and therefore the Gateway must build on and network with existing services.
- Respite Care - Reform of respite care should be a priority in the first stage of reforms because it is a critical support for family carers who care for a person with dementia at home.
- Prevention - There is a growing body of evidence that suggest a number of lifestyle and health factors may substantially reduce the risk of developing dementia. The reform agenda should include an emphasis on prevention and wellness and should ensure new lateral thinking in linking physical health to brain health and that older people are not left out of the preventative health agenda.
Download a full copy of Alzheimer’s Australia’s response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into Caring for Older Australians.
For more information on the Productivity Commission's draft report, Caring for Older Australians please visit Productivity Commission's website.