Alzheimers NZ welcomes yesterday’s announcement made by Associate Minister of Health Hon Jo Goodhew regarding the allocation of the $3.2 million identified in Budget 2013 for awareness raising of dementia and clinical education and training.
Yesterday’s announcement confirmed that $1.25 million will be allocated to Alzheimers NZ for awareness raising over the next three years with the remainder split between DHBs for clinical education and training for healthcare workers.
Alzheimers NZ Executive Director Catherine Hall says the $1.25 million contract awarded to Alzheimers NZ will support the organisation’s work in helping people with dementia get an early diagnosis and access to education, support and services to improve their quality of life.
“Dementia is one New Zealand’s most significant healthcare challenges and the numbers are growing,” Ms Hall said. “There are currently around 50,000 people with dementia in New Zealand and we know that numbers are forecast to triple to 150,000 by 2050.
“We also know that for every person with dementia there is a wide network of family, friends and carers who need education and support as well.”
Ms Hall said there is help available for people who think they may be facing a dementia diagnosis, but they need to know what’s available and to see their doctor in the first instance.
“Raising awareness of dementia is critically important in ensuring people receive an early diagnosis of their condition and can access the right services and support. It’s also critical in reducing the stigma that currently surrounds dementia and creating communities in which people with dementia are understood, supported and respected,” Ms Hall said.
Alzheimers NZ also welcomed the government’s investment in clinical education to support early detection and more training for people working with people affected by dementia.
“People with dementia are very vulnerable,” Ms Hall said. “They need and deserve personalised, specialist care in order to have the best quality of life they can.”
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