Dementia Australia welcomed the NSW Government’s $3.2 billion commitment to the NDIS transition, as well as $700 million towards a state-wide mental health infrastructure program.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the NDIS was an important initiative that was vital to supporting people with complex disabilities, like younger onset dementia, in the community.
“The additional funding in the NSW State budget to aid the transition, including $230 million for operational services until full transition to the non-governmental organisation sector, will be crucial in supporting the more than 8,000 people with younger onset dementia in NSW,” she said.
Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia was pleased to see that the funding will ensure continuity of support for people as they transition to the NDIS.
“People with younger onset dementia often fall between the cracks of the disability, health, aged care and mental health systems and individual advocacy services, like the Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program, are critical for people living with dementia, their families and carers to navigate these complex systems,” she said.
Dementia Australia also welcomed the state wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, which it is hoped will support people living with dementia through a transformation of existing infrastructure. Ms McCabe said Dementia Australia particularly welcomed the $82.5 million for increased admission and community-based services across NSW.
Ms McCabe said that any additional funding in this area was welcomed since people with dementia often experienced mental health issues, with 44 per cent of people in residential aged care having a mental health condition.
“While we welcome the additional disability and mental health funding, we do want to remind governments that dementia-specialist support is vital in meeting the unique needs of people living with dementia.”
With more than 142,000 people in NSW living with dementia, she emphasised that it was important to receive funding for dedicated services, capacity building and education, to ensure people impacted by dementia were supported in the way that they needed and deserved.
“Dementia is everyone’s business and it desperately requires well-funded support and services, responsive to local needs,” Ms McCabe said.