Dementia Initiative National Evaluation
22 December, 2010
On 1 October 2010, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler released the independent Evaluation of the Dementia Initiative.
The Evaluation reports that the additional funding provided through the 2005 Dementia Initiative – Making Dementia a National Health Priority has been effective.
The Dementia Initiative that was included in the 2005 budget provided $320 million over five years to fund:
- Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia packages that provide services to people with dementia in their own homes.
- Funding for dementia research, prevention, early interventions and improved care initiatives, including research grants offered through the National Health and Medical Research Council and funding for three Dementia Collaborative Research Centres.
- Training for aged and community care staff, carers and community workers including police and ambulance staff.
On the basis of the positive outcomes of the Evaluation, the existing elements of the Dementia Initiative are being continued by the Gillard Government. This includes the National Dementia Support Program administered by Alzheimer's Australia.
While finding the Initiative effective the Evaluation raises four main issues.
First, it reports that there is a need to develop a Communication Strategy within the Initiative to promote greater awareness of dementia.
Secondly, the Evaluation notes that no action has been taken to address concerns about the delays in the diagnosis of dementia and issues relating to the ongoing management of dementia.
Thirdly, the Evaluation raises some concerns about the need to promote access for Australians from all cultures and all ages, regardless of where they live to dementia care and support services.
Lastly, the Evaluation suggests that the various elements of the Dementia Initiative need to be better coordinated, including the work of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres, the Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services.
Download a copy of Alzheimer's Australia's comments on the Evaluation of the National Dementia Initiative.
Download a copy of Alzheimer's Australia's letter to The Hon Mark Butler, MP.
For more information on the Evaluation please visit the Department of Health and Ageing website.