Axing dementia funding hurts elderly

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has joined other aged care industry stakeholders in expressing disappointment over the Abbott Government’s axing of the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement.

ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the abolishment of the $16 a day supplement, introduced as part of the Labor Government’s Living Longer, Living Better aged care package of reforms, would dramatically impact the funding and quality  of care being delivered to elderly, vulnerable Australians.

“There are currently more than 332,000 Australians living with dementia and with these numbers set to soar to almost 1 million by 2050,” Ms Thomas said today.

“It is therefore important that in funding residential care, the extra costs of caring for people with dementia are recognised and considered.

“But yet again, without any warning, the Abbott Government has launched another attack on the aged care sector.

“After the election, the Government quickly moved to rob nurses and aged care workers of $1.1 billion in agreed funding for wages, education and training, by overturning the Workforce Supplement.

“Now they’re terminating the daily Supplement paid to assist in the care of Australia’s growing number of dementia sufferers, who are among the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Putting the Budget before resident care is only adding to the crisis in aged care.

“Axing the Dementia Supplement will significantly impact the quality of care delivered to sufferers of dementia.

“Ultimately, it’s elderly, vulnerable Australians and their families, who will suffer.”

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