Aged care workers and carers – paid and unpaid – deserve thanks today from everyone in the community for their work and commitment caring for those with dementia throughout Eurobodalla as the nation recognises Dementia Action Week.
Eurobodalla Labor for Council mayoral candidate David Grace said the condition affects almost half a million Australians while 1.6M Australians are also involved in their care.
“There are about 20,000 residents covered by the Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) area aged over 55, and while various forms of dementia can set in as early as 40-years-old for example, it is largely a disorder affecting people aged 65 and older,” Mr Grace said today. “The largest occupation in the ESC local government area in the 2016 Census was residential aged services with more than 550 people employed in the sector, and it is estimated as many again are employed across the nine aged care facilities from Bateman’s Bay to Narooma.
“In addition, many Eurobodalla residents are caring for the elderly with dementia at home with almost 4500 local residents providing unpaid care for someone with a disability in the shire,” he added.
In Dementia Action Week, Eurobodalla Labor for Council’s candidates have all committed to recognising a little support makes a big difference.
“The number of people living with dementia is set to double in the next 25 years and while people living with dementia can live active and fulfilling lives many years after diagnosis, they often experience discrimination,” Mr Grace said.
For more than 30 years, ESC has provided Australian government-funded aged care services for seniors, connecting them to community, promoting their independence and supporting their health and well-being.
“Eurobodalla Labor for Council applauds the continuing commitment to providing services for older people,” said Mr Grace “including people living with dementia. Community services for older residents are provided by a mix of ESC, not-for-profit agencies and commercial enterprises.
“This has increased the variety of services available and we believe this approach works best when service providers operate in a collaborative and cooperative way; it’s a strategy we will foster when in council.
“ESC has a long and proud record of providing aged care services, pioneering services for older people, people with disabilities and their carers from 1987.
“In 1989, the council accepted the challenge of operating one of the first home-based community options programs for people living with dementia and their carers, covering both Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shires. This was a successful program that allowed many people to live safely at home, even with advanced dementia.
“The council also obtained funds from the Commonwealth-State Home and Community Care (HACC) program, to include features in the Moruya Dr Mackay Community Centre that enabled people with mild to moderate dementia to safely use the centre.
“We encourage all residents of the Eurobodalla this week to make an extra effort to give a little support to a person living with dementia; give a little support to a carer, friend or family member of a person living with dementia; and help healthcare professionals make their practice more dementia-friendly,” Mr Grace added.
Labor’s candidates in the 4 December local government elections are: for mayor, David Grace from Broulee; and as councillors, Maureen Searson from Batehaven, Matthew Findlay from Batemans Bay, Claire McAsh from Moruya, Deirdre Russack from Narooma, and Jack Egan from Rosedale.