The federal government has released a draft version of its Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission Roadmap and is calling for feedback from the public.
The aim of the $185 million ‘Roadmap’ is to help the government prioritise funding for dementia and aged care research.
The key aim of the ‘Mission’ is to support older Australians to maintain their health and quality of life as they age, to live independently for longer, and to access quality care when they need it.
Funding for the Mission is available through the Medical Research Future Fund, a $20 billion fund that supports investment in Australian health and medical research.
A chance to have your say
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said, “It’s important to ensure the research is targeted to have the greatest impact,” Mr Hunt said.
“I encourage Australians to jump on the website, read the draft Roadmap and provide advice, so we have a greater understanding of what research is required.”
Within 40 years, Australia will be home to 1 million people living with dementia
Australia’s population is also rapidly ageing. In 2017, 15 per cent of the nation’s population — about 3.8 million people — were aged 65 and over. By 2057, this figure is expected to grow to more than 8.8 million, or 22 per cent of the population.
The number of people in Australia living with dementia is expected to rise in tandem with the ageing population. There are currently more than 447,000 people living with dementia in Australia. That number is expected to rise to 1.1 million people by 2058.
The government’s priorities for an ageing population
The goals of the roadmap are to:
- address the issue of ageism,
- increase the number of years a person will live in optimal health,
- deliver high quality care, taking a human rights approach,
- support individuals’ wellbeing,
- slow the progression of cognitive decline, and
- achieve timely diagnosis of dementia.
Investment will prioritise:
- research into the causes, treatment, management and potential cure of dementia.
- initiatives to address ageism and improve quality of life for older people
- how to ensure people maintain a sense of purpose as they age
- how to extend the healthy, active years of life
- how to support older people who wish to live in their own homes for as long as they can
- develop new ways to provide care to ensure people have quality of life as they age.
The government’s investment will span research from the discovery phase through to implementation.
The draft Roadmap will be open for comment until 17 February 2020.
You can read the draft and add your feedback here.