The government has just allocated $60 million to support Australians living with dementia.
If you want to support the health and wellbeing of your family, you may want to consider taking out a family health insurance policy.
This $60 million is part and parcel of the government's Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund, which will inject a total of $378 million into the Australian health care system over the next four years.
The funding will go toward a number of projects focused on providing better care for those with dementia.
• A University of Tasmania project aimed at preventing the inappropriate use of sedative medications in aged care;
• The continuation of Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services (DBMAS);
• A Flinders University (Adelaide) initiative to increase the capacity of residential aged-care providers and deliver person-centred care;
• Alzheimer's Australia educational programs and services for dementia sufferers and their families;
• A University of New South Wales project that hopes to curb the misuse of antipsychotic medication in aged care.
There are currently 298,000 people living with dementia in Australia. It is predicted that this number will rise to more than 900,000 by 2050. Mark Butler, minister for mental health and ageing, said this presents "major challenges for health and aged care services" all over the country.
Mr Butler revealed that he held meetings with researchers and health professionals in 2012 to discuss how aged care in Australia could be improved, particularly for those with dementia.
One of the areas emphasised was medication management, so the development of tools to help aged care facilities evaluate their medication usage and support staff with complex medication regimens has been made a top priority.
"People want to ensure we have policies and tools for staff and aged care services that support good dementia practice and encourage the management of underlying causes and non-pharmacological strategies as first line treatment for people with dementia," said Mr Butler in a 26 June statement.
In addition to providing funding for the above new projects, the Department of Health and Ageing recently released a report, titled Guiding Principles for Medication Management in Residential Aged Care Facilities, which is designed to help managers and staff in such facilities use and manage medicines safely.
Mr Butler revealed that dementia will become the leading cause of disability in Australia within the next four years, so it's important that we help our health care providers to "take up the challenge now".
You can take care of your health now by organising a private health insurance policy.