Australian First: $25 Million National Centre for Cognitive Decline Opened

Australian First: $25 Million National Centre for Cognitive Decline Opened

10 April 2013

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler will today launch Australias firstPartnership Centre that will address the complex problems faced by older peoplewith cognitive decline, including dementia.

Mr Butler said by 2050 it was estimated that 3.5 million Australians will need agedcare services and the majority will beliving with cognitive decline, almost a quarter ofwhom will have dementia.

By 2050 around one million Australians will have dementia making it one of thegreatest health challenges weve ever faced,Mr Butler said.

The Government is investing in this Centre to help people living with cognitivedecline remain in the community living productive lives for as long as possible. Andfor those who are unable to do so it will also improve their experience of living inresidential aged care facilities.

MrButler said the Government had developed the Centre through the NationalHealth and Medical Research Council and with partners from the NGO sectorBrightwater Care Group (WA), HammondCare (NSW), Helping Hand Aged Care (SA)and Alzheimers Australia.

Together the team will undertake essential work that will help to improve theplanning of aged care services, responsible medication management, quality use ofmedicines and the development of new models of respite care.

We want to make sure the worlds best research informs the worlds best care andsupport for people with cognitive decline here in Australia.

Mr Butler said most older Australians had indicated a very clear preference to remainliving in their home as long as possible:so we need innovative solutions that willmake that possible, even when someone is experiencing dementia or another type ofcognitive decline.

Of course, it is equally important that we strive continually to improve the quality oflife for those in residential aged carefacilities.

Alzheimers Australia CEO Glenn Rees said the new Centre would develop much-needed strategies to improve the quality of dementia care services.

This new centre brings together consumers, researchers and aged care providers. Itis a partnership that will help us to drive improvements by making sure that researchresults in real changes in practice, right across Australia.

HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd said it heralded a new approach toresearch, in that the needs of the sector would drive the research program.

The funding partners have identified key concerns within providing the best possiblecare for older Australians and these will be addressed in the research program,developed by Associate Professor Sue Kurrle and the Investigator Team,Dr Juddsaid.

CEOof Brightwater Care Group, Dr Penny Flett saiddementia is one of the biggestchallenges being faced by the aged care Industry and families all over Australia sowe consider it a great privilege to be part of this significant research collaboration.

And Helping Hand Chief Executive Ian Hardy said the great strength of the Centrewas itsfocus on those key factors which affect the quality of life of those living withdementia, whether in the community or in residential care, and their families.

NHMRCCEO Professor Warwick Anderson was pleased to see the involvement offour key non-government organisations in helping to fund and guide the work of theCentre.

Researchers and health decision makers will collaborate so the Centres work istailored toaddress the health systems needs and realities,he said.

For more information contact the ministers office on 02 6277 7280