Increased aged care funding a good step – now a focus on training and culture essential

| February 10, 2019

Dementia Australia has welcomed extra funding for aged care and today’s commitment by the Federal Government to increase the investment into home care packages and the dementia supplement in home care is a good step that will see more jobs in the sector.

Maree McCabe, CEO Dementia Australia said while extra funding is always welcome we also need to apply the same focus on the allocation of resources along with a commitment to improving training and culture.

“These have been the recommendations of many of the reviews into aged care such as the Workforce Taskforce and Tune Reviews, and will be a focus of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, Quality and Safety,” Ms McCabe said.

“Investing in home care is a positive move towards supporting more people to stay at home longer, if they are able, and receive the care and support they need.

“This latest increase in home care packages may assist in decreasing the waiting times to access the services they need but with more than 121,000 people on the waiting list, more needs to be done.

“The increase in packages and supplements will also require an increase in the workforce and in their capacity to deliver the specialist quality dementia care that is required to support the more than 436,000 Australians living with dementia across home and residential aged care settings.

“Currently, around 70 per cent of people with dementia live in the community – 44 per cent of them live alone.

“More than 50 per cent of people in residential aged care have a dementia diagnosis.

“With the prevalence of dementia projected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058 so will the demand for services.

“We need to ensure specialist dementia care is a focus of the care and support provided through these packages and supplements and is factored in as core business across the health and aged care sectors.

“We look forward to more detail on today’s announcement and working with government and providers to improve the lives and quality of care for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.”