Early cracks in NDIS fund­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

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.

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