Call for im­proved de­men­tia ser­vices

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - An­drew Bros­nan

The peak body sup­port­ing peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia hopes a lack of ser­vices in re­gional ar­eas will be rec­ti­fied through an over­haul of pro­grams across the na­tion.

Dis­cus­sions be­tween ser­vice providers and the Depart­ment of Aged Care will take place over the next month as the Fed­eral Govern­ment tries to ad­dress a dis­par­ity be­tween re­gional and metropoli­tan ser­vices.

The gap was iden­ti­fied in a re- port re­leased in Septem­ber which re­vealed a com­monly shared view ac­cess to de­men­tia ser­vices in coun­try ar­eas was lim­ited and Govern­ment fund­ing would likely need to be re­al­lo­cated.

Aged Care Min­is­ter Sus­san Ley re­leased the Govern­ment’s re­sponse this week, say­ing her staff would con­sult providers to re­design sup­port for peo­ple with de­men­tia and their car­ers.

Alzheimer’s Aus­tralia WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Rhonda Parker said while the re­sponse con­tained lim- ited de­tail, she was buoyed by the prospect of de­men­tia ad­vo­cacy groups be­ing able to help shape the fu­ture of ser­vices.

“Th­ese are big sys­tems and it takes a while to shift them,” she said.

“I’m re­ally pleased that we’ve got some time now to have a con­ver­sa­tion with Govern­ment and that they’re go­ing to con­sult key stake­hold­ers.

“I’ll be in touch with the staff that I have in the re­gions and my staff and team in Kal­go­or­lie and look at how we can ac­tu­ally cap­ture the views and the pri­or­i­ties from peo­ple out there.”

As part of the na­tional re­struc­ture, Ms Ley an­nounced the eight State and Ter­ri­tory-based providers of de­men­tia education pro­grams would be re­placed by a sin­gle na­tional provider.

The Govern­ment is look­ing to se­lect such a provider by Oc­to­ber.

Ms Parker said con­sol­i­dat­ing the education pro­grams could help con­tracts and ser­vices for de­men­tia sup­port im­prove but the tyr- anny of dis­tance needed to be ac­knowl­edged.

“What we’ve been at pains to say is you have to have lo­cal so­lu­tions for lo­cal prob­lems and you have to be able to have flex­i­bil­ity in the con­tract so that you can de­sign the ser­vice to suit the lo­ca­tion,” she said.

“What we con­tinue to raise, even with our … col­leagues in the smaller more densely pop­u­lated spa­ces, is there has to be a recog­ni­tion of the dif­fi­culty of get­ting ser­vices out across such dis­tances.”

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