CCOA Chair Greg Mundy said the research conducted by Access Economics reveals the prevalence of dementia is forecast to increase four fold within the next 40 years, affecting 1 million people.
“This is a compelling case for the major political parties to demonstrate their genuine concern and commit the next federal government to a reform agenda to address the devastating shortfall in aged care services,” he said.
“The constant acknowledgement that we have an ageing population without comprehensive policies to meet the needs of older people is unacceptable.
“The Government has introduced some important measures on the path to reform but if we are to have any hope of catering for the complex and individual needs of older people in coming years, the next government has an obligation to act.
“Early diagnosis of dementia assisted by expanded research and risk reduction programs must be linked to more quality dementia services for effective responses to the needs of people as they age.
“A reformed aged care system must be easy for older people to navigate, responsive to different levels of care and have sustainable funding arrangements combining public and private contributions where appropriate.
“To meet these needs community care services for people living at home must be expanded significantly along with increased capital for high care beds as part of a far reaching aged care policy.
“Assisting older people to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible aided by aged care and ancillary health professionals, is peoples’ preference and a key factor in keeping more serious health issues at bay.
“Urgent short term actions are necessary as a precursor to fundamental change where aged care is an entitlement, and older people have choice and access to services when and where they need them.
“The lack of policies from the major political parties clearly demonstrates they have no plan to effectively deal with these issues.”
CCOA’s new vision for caring for older Australians is available at www.thegrandplan.com.au
CCOA comprises the peak bodies and national service providers of residential and community based aged care services.
Media contact: Chris Hornsey 0419 513 432
Aged & Community Services Australia, Aged Care Association Australia, Anglicare Australia,
Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Churches of Christ Living Care, Sir Moses
Montefiore Jewish Homes, Lutheran Aged Care Australia, The Salvation Army Aged Care
Plus, The National Presbyterian Aged Care Network, UnitingCare Australia