Funding for dementia is crucial. Liam McAleer, Michael Howard and Linh Ly report
The number of Moonee Valley residents with dementia is expected to rise 189 per cent by 2050, a new study reveals.
The figures, commissioned by Alzheimer's Australia Vic, predicts that the number of Moonee Valley residents living with dementia will skyrocket from 1687 today to more than 4800 in less than 40 years.
It will place Moonee Valley as the 17th-highest municipality in Victoria for the number of people with dementia.
The increase is alarming for Moonee Valley's Doutta Galla Health Service, which runs an Alzheimer's support group in Niddrie and programs at Essendon Adult Day Centre.
General Manager of Primary and Community Health Dianne Couch said if work wasn't done now, health services would not be able to support the growth.
"This is an epidemic really and how are we going to respond to that?" she said.
"Unless we're supported to do some of this early work, it's not going to cope. There does need to be some more support and funding."
Ms Couch said several of their projects and services offering support for those with dementia had waiting lists and were in need of long-term funding.
Last week, the Federal Government announced $268.4 million over five years to tackle dementia. This includes $164.3 million for people receiving home care packages and in residental care, and there will also be extra support for primary health care providers. However, this falls short of the $500 million over five years called for by Alzheimer's Australia.
Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, said "tackling dementia" would be a "key consideration" in the Federal Government's assessment of the Productivity Commission report.
He said results from 16 Alzheimer's Australia consultations held this month indicated systematic problems.
"Across all 16 consultations, the overwhelming view of older Australians is that the aged-care system is simply not meeting the needs of dementia sufferers and their families," Mr Butler said.
View - The cost of caring.jpg [198KB]