Minister receives international dementia award

Mark Butler has achieved international recognition for his efforts to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.



Above: Federal Minister Mark Butler

Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler has been awarded the 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) award for government action on dementia.

Nominated by Alzheimer’s Australia, Minister Butler joins former winners, past French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ADI founder, Jerome Stone, in receiving the international honour.

Ita Buttrose, National President of Alzheimer’s Australia, who presented Mr Butler with the award, said since 2005 Australia has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for creating and implementing dementia policy.

“In the past two years, Minister Butler has spoken out publicly in support of Alzheimer’s Australia’s Fight Dementia Campaign and the need for dementia to be a key focus in aged care reform,” she said.

With the Minister’s support, dementia was also recognised as a National Health Priority Area through COAG, alongside other chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Through the Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms, the government has also committed $268.4 million over five years to better supporting people with dementia.

Mr Butler told ABC TV that the central challenge for the aged care system was dealing with dementia.

It also represented one of the most serious challenges for the health system as a whole for coming decades, he said.

“I’ve spoken with family after family after family who felt terribly let down and often very distressed about the experiences they had of the hospital system, of the GP and primary care system, and of the aged care system. And that said to me that this wasn’t just an aged care challenge, this was really a whole of health system challenge.”

The annual award is chosen by the international federation of 78 Alzheimer’s associations around the world, and recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual to improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers.



Tags: alzheimers-australia, dementia, ita-butrose, mark-butler,

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