The Illawarra Forum recently sent a submission to the Federal Department of Health (DoH) on their discussion paper for the redesign of dementia consumer supports. Consultations with service providers, carers and people living with dementia were held across the region in order to form our response. The paper outlined how DoH was proposing to support people with dementia with a focus on improving dementia literacy within the community and medical professionals, improving service accessibility, and supports to encourage reablement and independence for people newly diagnosed.
Illawarra Forum strongly argued that the allocated $12m per annum was insufficient, and that investment in people to provide face to face supports, not just phone lines, websites and social marketing campaigns, was imperative to make a real impact. In addition we argued that regional and rural areas and marginalised groups required significantly more support than metropolitan areas as supports and medical specialists are scarce; and that specific resources should be allocated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities in order engage effectively. Thank you to all those who contributed to our response.