Vic gov must act next!

Next Wednesday the Victorian government will announce its 2012/13 State Budget package. Alzheimer’s Australia Vic says Baillieu’s ministry must display a similar commitment to funding dementia services as the Commonwealth did last week.

Graphic depiction of the Victorian dementia prevalence data released yesterday: 2011-2050 growth in dementia cases by State Electoral Divisions. Key: Darkest red- > 326 per cent; red- 251 to 326 per cent; orange- 188 to 251 per cent; yellow- <188 per cent.

By Yasmin Noone

The Victorian state government needs to step up to the plate and commit to funding dementia services beyond 2012, just like the Commonwealth did last week.

This statement was made by CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Maree McCabe, today to remind Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, that just because the federal government responded to the Fight Dementia campaign with an early aged care reform announcement last Friday, the state government has not yet been let off the hook.

The Victorian Treasury is due to officially announce its 2012/13 State Budget next Wednesday. Ms McCabe said that Alzheimer’s Australia Vic therefore seeks a state-specific commitment for continued and increased dementia-related funding.

“The federal government’s aged care reforms will go a long way to addressing many of the elements of the dementia action plan we have been lobbying for, for the past 12 months,” Ms McCabe said.

“But in no way does the aged care reform [announced] diminish the responsibility of the Victorian government.

“The state government funds a third of Victorian dementia services already which is fantastic. However, it needs to continue to fund and increase funding for dementia counseling services, culturally and linguistically diverse community services and services in regional areas.”

Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria released new state-wide dementia prevalence figures, from Deloitte Access Economics, yesterday.

Ms McCabe said no area in Victoria was spared from the rising rates of dementia – within Melbourne, areas as diverse as Albert Park, Box Hill and Narre Warren South revealing some of the highest figures.

“The prevalence data shows that, in regional areas of Victoria, there are already high levels of dementia and over the years to come, it will rise substantially.

“[The figures] add further weight to the need to fund the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Action Plan nationally and, at a state level, for increases in funding to best enable Alzheimer’s Australia Vic to plan for these future massive increases.”

The 2012 top 10 Victorian State Electoral Districts (SEDs) for prevalence are (in order): Nepean 1,385; Bellarine, 1,124; South Barwon, 1,081; Box Hill 1,077; Gippsland East, 1,073; Bentleigh, 1,062; Lowan, 1,045; Mornington, 1,022; Pascoe Vale, 1,020 and Burwood with 1,007.

The epidemic increases are revealed when the 2050 top 10 Victorian State Electoral Districts are reviewed: Bass, 4,796; Nepean, 4,731; South Barwon, 4,273; Melton, 4,203; Gippsland East, 4,082; Bellarine, 4,013; Mornington, 3,528; Narre Warren South, 3,502; Narracan, 3,353; and Murray Valley with 3,261.

Ms McCabe explained the increasing numbers in areas like Melton and Narre Warren South being partly due to the fact they are growth areas and appeal to young families. By 2050, she said, most of this younger demographic will be aged over 65 or reaching the high dementia risk ages. And commutable country areas and traditional sea-change locations like the Mornington Peninsula are also popular with retirees. Hence the increase in projected local dementia statistics.

“While dementia is not a normal part of ageing, these are areas with are a lot more older people living there and [a greater risk and greater numbers of people with dementia].

“We need to make sure that regional areas are well equipped to deal with what they will have to confront in the future.”

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has sent every state parliamentarian in Victoria the new dementia prevalence information, including what the increases are in their electorate.

“We hope this information about their own electorate sharpens the focus for individual parliamentarians and helps ensure commitments in the coming budget to making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia,” she said.

“We know what we need. Both governments know what we need. The time has come now to outline a funding plan for it – not for the next year or five years but for over the next decade to 20 years.

“…This needs to be a bipartisan agreement. It’s a public health issue and we need to be working together to come up with a funding plan for the state.”

Tags: access, alzheimers-australia-vict, ballieu, deloitte, dementia, economics, prevalence, state-budget, victoria,

1 thought on “Vic gov must act next!

  1. the paid carers in aged care are paid so little money there is no incentive to stay in the industry. we do our very best job for the aged but the money is minimal what will happen to these people if they have no carers PLEASE ALSO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAGES FOR THE CARERS

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