Submission to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care Consultation on the New Aged Care Act Exposure

Submission to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care Consultation on the New Aged Care Act Exposure
Author: The DAI Admin Team
Published: Saturday, April 13th 2024

On 14 December 2023, the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care released an exposure draft of the Bill for the new Act for public consultation. The consultation ran until 8 March 2024, during which the department sought feedback from everyone with an interest in aged care.

As the only organisation representing people living with dementia exclusively in Australia, DAI made a submission thanks to the hard work of our Human Rights Officer, Theresa Flavin.

The submission highlights several key areas where current policies fall short in adequately supporting individuals with dementia and provides several recommendations. The full list can be found in the submission on our website but examples include: 

  1. Re - Defining dementia as both a medical condition and a cause of disability, which should attract the same level of appropriate support as any other acquired disability including support to remain in the community if we choose.

  2. Including people with dementia in the neurodiverse community.

  3. Prioritizing  human rights in new laws, including direct and accessible pathways for justice.

  4. Advocating for deinstitutionalization and community living.

  5. Improving decision-making support for people with dementia.

  6. Co Designed education for  disability workers about dementia.

  7. Taking robust action against violence and neglect experienced by people with dementia.

  8. Implementing diverse and person led strategies for inclusive communities.

  9. Involving people with dementia in policy reforms and consultations.

  10. Ensuring fair access to disability services like the NDIS.

  11. Advocating for representation of people with dementia in decision-making.

In conclusion, the journey to a dementia diagnosis is often fraught with stress, myths, and stigma. It's time to shift away from viewing people with dementia as immediately losing capacity upon diagnosis. Many can live positively for 20 years or more beyond diagnosis, contrary to current expectations. People with dementia deserve to be seen, heard, and treated with respect. Australia has obligations to uphold their rights and provide adequate support and care. Let's ensure our New Aged Care Act reflects these obligations and prioritizes the independence, well-being, and quality of life of all Australians living with dementia.

Read the full submission here.

Since you’re here… 

We’re asking you to support our members, by donating to or partnering with our organization. With more than 55.2 million people living with dementia, our work has never been more important. Donating or partnering with us will make a difference to the lives of people with dementia: https://www.dementiaallianceinternati... 

Membership of, and services provided by Dementia Alliance International is FREE, and open to anyone with a diagnosis of any type of dementia. Join DAI here: /get-support/become-a-member 

Read our newsletters or regular blogs, by subscribing here: /blog 

About DAI: Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is a non-profit group of people with dementia from around the world seeking to represent, support, and educate others living with the disease that it is possible to live more positively than advised with dementia. It is an organization that promotes a unified voice of strength, advocacy and support in the fight for individual autonomy, improved quality of life, and for the human and legal rights of all with dementia and their families.

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