Found a broken system, according to reports Dementia

Monday, April 9th 2012. | Science News

Dementia broken systemDementia is the single biggest age-related disease facing Australians, with 1600 new cases diagnosed every week, and it is predicted its prevalence will double over the next 20 years, according to a new report.

There are 280,000 Australians currently living with dementia with the number set to reach 400,000 within 10 years.

The report, commissioned by the Department of Health and Ageing, finds that Australia’s aged care system is effectively broken when it comes to caring for people living with dementia.

It describes the national network as ”complicated, inflexible and largely unable to meet their [people with dementia] needs”.

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, said the report – which was based on the feedback of more than 1000 older Australians, their families and carers who attended 16 specially convened consultations nationwide – made for sober reading.

”It is clear from the feedback received through the conversations that the issues that continue to beset the provision of care for people with dementia have not been given the prominence they deserve in the debate about the quality of aged care,” he said.

”The overwhelming view of older Australians is that the aged care system is simply not meeting the needs of dementia sufferers and their families. For many older Australians, ‘dementia-specific care’ is matched by the reality of locked wards.

“Families want to keep loved ones living with dementia at home for as long as possible but the current system does not provide adequate support and assistance to enable people to remain at home.”

The report found that, specifically, community care packages were inadequate and inflexible and that the system was beset by long waiting times, lack of transparency in administration costs and clogged by bureaucratic roadblocks.

“It is also clear from the consultations that older Australians and their families want staff appropriately trained in all aspects of dementia, and paid accordingly,” Mr Butler said.


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