The ‘wisdom’ of governments dealing with dementia

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 10.22.24 amLike one of my colleagues Dr Faizel Ibrahim, who is a senior Consultant Geriatrician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and also the person who brought Dignity in Care to South Australia and of which I am a member of the Dignity in Care Action group, I too am very concerned of the impact of the 2015-2016 STATE BUDGET PRIORITIES in South Australia.

This will have a devastating impact to a number of Alzheimer’s Australia SA dementia services in South Australia which are at risk unless urgent action is taken. ONLY $1,485,000 is required.

Jenny Potter, a friend and colleague has given me permission to quote her response to the impact of the recently announced 2015-2016 STATE BUDGET PRIORITIES in South Australia:
Thank you so much Faizal for “Championing” the impact of the State Budget on dementia services in South Australia.   From my personal experience of caring for my husband for 10 years at home with Younger Onset dementia, I know first-hand what these services mean to people and their families living with dementia.    Some of these services have been supporting them for many, many years and they cannot afford to lose them.   
I support Faizal in saying “This is time for ACTION.  Consumer Voice Matters.”   If any of you can do anything at all with your “Consumer Voice”, on behalf of all people and their families living with dementia, please do it now. Recent statistics now put dementia as the 2nd highest cause of death in Australia, and it is a terminal disease with no cure.  Services cannot be cut.

I was also a member of the SA Department of Health Older Person’s Clinical Network and Dementia Steering Committee, both disbanded recently as well, at about the same time the SA state government decided, in its ‘wisdom’ declared that:


Whilst SA is a smaller state in this wonderful country we call Australia, we have the largest ageing population, and dementia is no less diagnosed here than any other state.

Of course, there has been no public announcements of this… although a few weeks ago, when the government here announced the closing of a number of hospitals and health services, for example, the Repatriation Hospital and the Brain Injury Unit just to name a couple, I also read in our local newspaper that the Health Minister, the Honourable Mr. Jack Snelling announced he had just upgraded his personal office to the tune of about $2.4 million! It is terrific to see where his and my state government priorities lay…

The dementia budgets and services have also been cut in the UK and Canada, and many of the national funding of services here in Australia has also been cut, so Australia is not alone, but after attending the WHO first Ministerial Conference on Dementia in Geneva in March earlier this year, it seems unthinkable that dementia funding and services are being cut here and around the world.
Dementia is Australia’s 9th Health Priority. It is reprehensible that South Australia no longer consider this the case.

22 thoughts on “The ‘wisdom’ of governments dealing with dementia

  1. Pingback: SA State Budget 2015-2016 Dementia Services at Risk | Creating life with words: Inspiration, love and truth

  2. Hi Kate yes I am too honest when I was nursing I applied for a higher grade job which I didn’t get when I got the feed back I was told I didn’t get it because I was too honest. I think we need honest politicians. Who think about the vulnerable in our society instead of themselves


    • OMG… YES!!!! No longer do we trust fully any of them and their past and present behaviour leave a LOT to be desired… of course, this does not apply to all doctors and Priests, but possibly does apply to all politicians?! 🙂


  3. Hi Kate Just an add on I agree with Michael but the rich hide their money in off shore accounts to get loads of interest to avoid paying taxes that We Poorer people have to pay. The only place we could hide ours is under the mattress but we wouldn’t get any interest there not that we get much in the bank but it’s still taxed for the privilege of lending it to the greedy bankers. I just might stand for parliament next time ha ha.


  4. Hi Kate I think even our great city of Salford is about to cut its spending on dementia we have a health improvement team who come along to our young dementia group but I read in the paper that this is one of the services. That is to be cut. They have just set up a swimming time for people with dementia so far so good but I’m wondering if this is going to stop. This is our fight at the moment at the dementia champions group, In other parts of the country they are getting rid of the admiral nurses these are nurses especially for people who have dementia. We don’t have these great nurses in Salford, I wouldn’t mind so much but as David Cameron said when he was first elected we are all in I it together then didn’t give the nurses a pay rise but gave the MP’s an 11% pay rise. Like you said we know where their priorities lie. Total greed for the rich nothing for the working man, poor and vulnerable.


  5. Hi Kate

    No idea what the answer is, but do know UK, Canada, & Aus won’t be turning back any time soon. NZ (I believe) is keeping a public health system; the US has never had a public health system. (… because socialists!)

    Given we’re beyond the point of no return, without any hint of a Bill of Rights, it is up to local communities to develop LocalSolutions® to the problems caused by the gradual withdrawal of (govt) funded, approved, services.

    (The more monied should be able purchase a MultiNationalSolution™ coming to a street corner near you, but buyer beware. The marketing is well practised & dense.)

    Ultimately our collective aim (I think) should be to make current Westminster governance obsolete & start again reshaping governments that (who?) work for us not against us “going forward” as our pollies love to parrot. Meanwhile …

    I’ve been no help at all, right?
    We’re back not quite to square one, but still looking for local (necessarily private) affordable InnovativeSolutions™. (Now if someone would only remove the red-tape & restrictive regulation from experienced practising individuals something just may get done …)



  6. believe it or not, Canada is even further behind than Australia. We don’t even have a national dementia strategy moving forward. A bill to create one was recently defeated when, ironically, a member of the Liberals party “forgot” to vote! It’s a travesty.


      • Ha! You have a filing system!?@!? I spend at least 60% of my day looking for stuff I know I have, stuff I’ve written before and am now rewriting again, stuff I put somewhere to keep it safe… blah blah blah. I have gigabytes and gigabytes of stuff and believe me I’ve lost more stuff than I have LOL.

        My observation is you are a helluva lot more organized than I am LOL 🙂


      • hahaha… from where I began, I am in a constant state of MESS. Once, even my printer was even cleaned, inside and out, to the point technicians used to comment on it!!!


      • Believe me, Canada SUCKS on dementia awareness, programs, etc. We are the worst of the “first” world.

        On a more important note, you and DAI should develop some kind of descriptor that fits with the acronym MESS; for e.g.:

        Minds Escaping Stringent Spaces
        Minds Entering Synchronistic Saintliness
        More Exploration Suits Susan (oops, you will have to change your name… :P)
        More Empathy for Seemingly-lost Souls


        just additional food for thought as if you didn’t already have enough to think about 😛



  7. I can’t believe this State Government of ours, Kate! Their priorities are obviously not where you and I would like them to be! Upgrading his office – what a …. I’d better not say what I really feel like saying!! He or his family obviously haven’t been touched by a diagnosis of dementia. It makes me so angry when governments do this type of thing – wasting money where it is just not needed. Keep up your strong voice Kate – eventually people will realise where the money REALLY needs to be spent in this great State of ours! xx


  8. Reblogged this on Forget-Me-Not and commented:
    Typical – South Australia Government ministers deem it more important to have a better looking office space than to put that money towards dementia care. When I read of things like this, I think, well he and his family obviously haven’t been touched by dementia – lucky them. If only they knew what it was like to have dementia or to care for someone with dementia, maybe they would make more funding available to this essential requirement in the coming years. Shame on you Jack Snelling, but I’m sure you’re not the only one who wastes taxpayers money just because you want a new desk!!!!


  9. So many countries, states, cities are having to cut cut cut. Such a shame to have to cut anywhere: Dementia, Cancer, Homeless, Working Poor, etc. It seems to reflect a system that is broken and no longer is able to work well! Not sure what the answer is. Best wishes to all of us!


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