Early cracks in NDIS funding
ONE in three people with dementia are now under the age of 65 in Australia.
Alzheimer’s Australia recently launched a campaign to highlight the impact of early onset dementia in Australia, with 242 new cases of dementia diagnosed every day.
In WA alone, there are now 2343 people under the age of 65 with dementia, something that is causing Alzheimer’s WA funding concern with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) due to roll out in 2016.
Alzheimer’s WA chief executive Rhonda Parker said the charity’s Key Worker Program could be under threat.
“If a person is referred to us and says they are worried they have younger onset dementia, we will refer them to our staff and then we will establish a contact point with that person, somewhere they can go for support,” Mrs Parker said.
“In WA it funds 3.5 positions with a grant of a couple of hundred of thousand dollars from the federal government.
“As of July 1, 2016 it will become part of the NDIS and it is unclear as to whether that money will be preserved for people with dementia.
“The current funding has a dementia-specific tag on it and with the rollout of the NDIS it will go into the general disability area.”
Mrs Parker says she aired her concerns about dementia funding to Social Services Minister Scott Morrision.
“Minister Morrison has told me that he understands our concerns, but what we want to know is that money will still be allocated to people under 65 with younger onset dementia,” she said.