Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Additional funding begins to recognise dementia as one of New Zealand’s most significant and growing heathcare challenges
Alzheimers NZ welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister and Associate Minister of Health that the Government is investing additional funds to support people affected by dementia as part of a wider funding package for services for older people.
“Dementia already affects around 50,000 people in New Zealand and that number is set to triple by 2050 as the population ages, with baby boomers now coming through to the ages when dementia is most frequently diagnosed. It is critical that NZ is well-positioned to meet the needs of the growing number of people affected by dementia, with more and more people having a family member or friend who is diagnosed with some form of dementia, most commonly alzheimers” said Susan Hitchiner, Chair of Alzheimers New Zealand.
In 2012 Alzheimers NZ launched the wecanhelp campaign to build public awareness and understanding of dementia, and to encourage people to see their doctor so they can get the help they need.
“This new funding will contribute to further initiatives to raise awareness of dementia and of the services that are available to support people affected by dementia – and to remove the fear that is often associated with this disease. The additional funding to better support earlier detection of dementia – a major goal for Alzheimers NZ – is important, so that people can take charge of their situation, make decisions about their care while they remain able, and receive the care and support they need.
"The funding for additional home support services is also welcome as we know that most people with dementia want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, as is funding for dementia related training and the residential care subsidy for dementia units both of which recognise the specialist and intensive nature of the care needed by people affected by dementia,” Ms Hitchiner said.
Susan Hitchiner said that Alzheimers New Zealand welcomes Government’s focus on dementia but there is much still to do to so that people affected by dementia have the support and assistance they need and to reduce the impact of dementia on NZ communities. In particular, there is a need for a much stronger focus on services that better support family carers, and on research.
Alzheimers NZ’s National Dementia Strategy 2010-2015 strongly advocates for:
- Better cross sector collaboration and commitment from the major organisations in the dementia community, including Government, District Health Boards and community organisations, in order to provide effective services now and into the future.
- Recognition of dementia as a national health priority, which has recently occurred in Australia, as a pivotal step in enabling the voices of people with dementia and their families to be heard and acknowledged, and acted upon in policy development and community action.
- Further investment in diagnosis and disease management, dementia-specific services appropriate for the wide range and growing numbers of people affected by dementia and better support for families and friends who provide much of the care.
Alzheimers NZ also advocates for the development of a stronger research evidence base to support planning, monitoring and innovation in early diagnosis and the provision of support for people with dementia – and research into both prevention and cure. Susan Hitchiner also said that “Cure, in particular, still seems to be too far away. To be serious about cure, we must begin real investment sooner rather than later, with all investment in research, support services and awareness raising focused on the goal of reducing the impact of dementia on all communities in New Zealand.”
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Alzheimers New Zealand and Bupa call for better understanding of dementia care
Bupa and Alzheimers New Zealand are helping tackle one of New Zealand’s most significant heathcare challenges alongside the announcement of a global partnership.
Catherine Hall, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s New Zealand, said dementia already affects around 50,000 people in New Zealand and that number is set to triple by 2050 as the population ages. .
Therefore it is critical that NZ is well positioned to meet the needs of the growing number of people affected by dementia,” Ms Hall said.
Ms Hall’s comments came after today’s announcement of a new long-term global partnership between Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Bupa. The partnership’s first action is the launch of a joint 10-point global manifesto on what extraordinary dementia care looks like through the eyes of someone living with dementia.
“Although there is currently no cure, there is help available to help people affected by dementia. In 2012 we launched the Alzheimers NZ WeCanHelp campaign to encourage people to see their doctor so they can get the help that they need, and to build public understanding of dementia and awareness of the services and support available,” Ms Hall said.
“This new charter is another action that will help people understand the type of care and support people affected by dementia need so that they can still live a satisfying and enjoyable life,” Ms Hall adds.
Grainne Moss Director of Bupa Care Homes and Rehab, said ADI and Bupa will be seeking support for the charter from governments, individuals and organisations around the world.
“As well as containing the 10 points, the charter, ‘I can live well with dementia’, also sets out a program of ‘enablers’ – the actions needed by everyone involved to achieve a better quality of life for people with dementia,” Ms Moss said.
The 10 points of the global ADI/Bupa charter are:
1. I should have access to a doctor to check if I have dementia.
2. I should have access to information about dementia so I know how it will affect me.
3. I should be helped to live independently for as long as I can.
4. I should have a say in the care and support that I am given.
5. I should have access to high-quality care that’s right for me.
6. I should be treated as an individual, with those looking after me knowing about my life.
7. I should be respected for who I am.
8. I should have access to medicine and treatment that helps me.
9. My end of life wishes should be discussed with me while I can still make decisions.
10. I want my family and friends to have fond memories of me.
10 people living with dementia from around the world have endorsed each point of the Charter including New Zealander Hemi Wirihana. Their endorsements can be found in a video at www.bupa.com/dementia.
Further information and resources:
World Alzheimers Report 2012 reveals stigma and social exclusion are major barriers for people with dementia and their carers
21 September 2012The latest World Alzheimer Report released today for World Alzheimer’s Day by Alzheimer’s Disease In…
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It’s time we started talking about Alzheimer’s
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15 August 2012Alzheimers New Zealand welcomes the news that the Australian Commonwealth Government has made dement…
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