Dementia Australia has urged the Federal Government to take action to better support the more than 129,000 older Australians who are waiting to receive home care packages.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said as the prevalence of dementia continues to increase so does the need for home care packages.
“Currently, around 70 per cent of the more than 447,000 Australians with dementia live in the community. An increase in home care packages will help more Australians live at home for as long as possible and be supported in achieving this,” Ms McCabe said.
According to the Home Care Packages Program Report released this month, the waitlist has increased by 1,290 people, with more than 75,000 people still waiting for an appropriate level of home care.
Ms McCabe said the consequences of a lack of support were devastating and far reaching – severely impairing the quality of life for the person living with dementia and their loved ones, many of whom often stop or change their own lives to become a primary carer.
“We know there is much more to be done to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is estimated to more than double by 2058 to almost 1.1 million,” Ms McCabe said.
“It is essential that we work with Government and providers to put in place the services and early intervention supports needed to help people live well at home for as long as possible.
“Our experience has shown that early intervention is crucial in enabling people to remain in the community and avoid premature entry into residential aged care.
“In light of the report findings, Dementia Australia urges the Federal Government to provide better support for people living with dementia and indeed all seniors in the community.
“Australians living with dementia, their families and carers should not have to wait until April 2020 when the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hands down its recommendations. Urgent action is required now to meet their needs,” Ms McCabe said.
I am Thankfull for all the services we recieve at most, more could be done to facilitate, When you age and become more frail, and more difficult to Handle as life progresses and the need increases Hendry J Leon Carer
As primary carer, I am struggling. I need more support if my husband is NOT to go into permanent care. What can I do to accelerate the process.
Your heading "Call for government action as list of older Australians waiting for home care grows" is a call for all Australian people who have been waiting for a HCP for years not only dementia sufferers. We have a terminally ill friend who can't even obtain a level 1 package.
I am grateful to Dementia Australia, for urging the Federal Government to act on the waiting time for Home Care Packages. We are still waiting more than 9 months since my husbands assessment for his package to come through, and all the while his needs are increasing.