Royal Commission into aged care commences with a promising focus on learning from past mistakes

Saturday 19 January 2019

The commencement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Adelaide is welcomed by the national peak body for all people impacted by dementia.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe commends the Royal Commission and their intention to conduct extensive consultation around the country in the following months, with a focus on dementia and learning from mistakes of the past.

“An open forum for all involved in the aged care system to share their experience is essential to improving the safety of older Australians,” Ms McCabe said.

“The Royal Commission is already shining a light on deficiencies in the system and continuing this momentum will assist to shift the pace of change or reform.

“People living with dementia, their families and carers, providers, government and health professionals need to have a clear understanding of the path forward, and their roles and responsibilities, when it comes to legislation, financial management and market transparency. We anticipate the Royal Commission will help to achieve this. 

“Fundamentally, we want to ensure that dementia is core business for the sector – not just in principle but in practice.

“We need to see legislative changes that address the over-use and inappropriate use of medications and restraints, a focus on quality dementia care through the new Aged Care Quality Standards, and a focus on workforce levels, training and education.

“This week marks the beginning of transformation of the system that will result in the scale and scope of positive change that is required to ensure people living with dementia, their families and carers receive the best and most appropriate quality care and support.

“It is important to remember that the coming months may be challenging for many who have been directly impacted by dementia, bringing to light traumatic stories that may be confronting. Dementia Australia is here to support people living with dementia, their families and carers throughout this process and beyond.

“Dementia Australia calls on all organisations and media outlets reporting on the Royal Commission to be sensitive to how their language may impact on readers and viewers.

“To assist with this, Dementia Australia has the Dementia Language Guidelines resource and the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 at the end of television and radio news, on websites, online stories and in print available to audiences on how to seek further information and support.

“We hope this focus on dementia through the Royal Commission will inform a vibrant, compassionate future that supports people with dementia, their families and carers.

“We look forward to working with the Commission to improve the lives of the more than 436,000 people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia in Australia, and their families and carers.”

To read Dementia Australia’s media releases and opinion editorials about the Royal Commission visit https://www.dementia.org.au/royal-commission.

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Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 436,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.

National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500

Interpreter service available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

www.dementia.org.au

Media contacts: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 christine.bolt@dementia.org.au

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.