10 March 2016, re-printed here with permission:
People with dementia call for action on National Dementia Priorities
More than 70 people living with dementia and their carers will come together in Canberra to identify key priorities and call on politicians to take action in responding to Australia’s growing dementia rates during a two-day Consumer Summit at Parliament House.
The consumers from across Australia will be representing the more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia when they speak directly with federal politicians, including the Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Health Minister, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenors The Hon Shane Neumann MP and The Hon Teresa Gambaro MP among other key politicians.
Diagnosed with younger onset frontotemporal dementia at age 49, Alzheimer’s Australia’s Dementia Advisory Committee Chair, Kate Swaffer recently became a member of the World Dementia Council and is Chair, CEO and co-founder of Dementia Alliance International.
Ms Swaffer said it was important people with dementia had a forum where they could voice the matters which are important them.
“In order to effect meaningful change, people with dementia must be front-and-centre when it comes to the issues that affect us,” Ms Swaffer said.
“Forums like this, allow people with dementia to come together with our care partners to ensure that our voice is united and delivered straight to the people that matter – the policy and decision-makers, who can bring about action.”
Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Carol Bennett said the National Consumer Summit was an excellent opportunity for consumers to highlight their priorities about where improvements to care, treatment and policy could be made.
“It is really important for people with dementia to be heard and it is fantastic that we will have so many able to join us for this summit,” Ms Bennett said.
“As users of the health, aged and disability systems feedback from people living with dementia is invaluable. Any responses to dementia must reflect the views and experiences of people living with the condition.”
Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available (The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Media enquiries: Bianca Armytage 0407 019 430 firstname.lastname@example.org
KEY MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Alzheimer’s Australia is hosting the National Consumer Summit at Parliament House on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 March 2016. There will be media opportunities including:
- The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP will be launching Dementia and your Legal Rights on Tuesday 15 March 2016 at 11.00am. This is a new resource that is a consumer driven initiative, developed with legal expertise and consumer input, to help people with dementia better understand their legal rights. There will be a consumer who has been involved in the project available for media comments along with Alzheimer’s Australia, CEO, Carol Bennett.
- On Wednesday 16 March 2016 at 9.20am people living with dementia and their carers will present federal politicians with a Communique, identifying their priorities and recommendations for a National Dementia Strategy to tackle this National Health Priority which is the second leading cause of death in Australia. There will be a consumer and Alzheimer’s Australia, National President, Graeme Samuel AC available for comment.
- The Hon Sussan Ley MP will address the summit and launch the first-ever National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) endorsed National Guidelines for Dementia in Australia on Wednesday 16 March 2016 at 3.30pm. A person living with dementia available to talk about what these Guidelines mean for him.
You can download the Alzheimers Australia MR_National Consumer Summit – released10 March 2016