Alzheimer’s WA CEO Rhonda Parker said the recent changes to the Federal Government’s carer support funding model left carers of those living with dementia more isolated and unsupported, forcing them to look elsewhere for support.
“The government has consolidated funding across a number of programs to establish the Integrated Carer Support Program under the Department of Social Services, commencing in 2019” Mrs Parker said.
“These new services will not be dementia specific. Generic carer support groups do not offer the benefit that disease-specific groups do. We are unhappy about this shift in how government plans to support carers.
“These changes are a move in the wrong direction. At a time when aged and dementia care is increasingly being shifted to being delivered in the home, it is inappropriate to compromise the effectiveness of support to carers.
”Caring is a labour of love, and for those caring for a loved one with dementia, it is often around the clock. Carers are the backbone of the home care system. They deserve better than this.
Alzheimer’s WA was established 36 years ago, primarily driven by the recognition that there were few or no supports for those living with dementia.
“Our commitment to carers has always driven us to find a way to support carers, and to lead the way in advocacy and support for those caring for someone on the dementia journey.
“We are currently directing our carers into existing opportunities such as the memory cafes.
“We are also reassuring them that we remain committed to carers and will continue to explore how we can offer support in the new funding environment.
“Supporting carers remains not negotiable for us. While we continue to work on identifying new ways and initiatives to support carers, we will also continue to lobby State and Federal Government of the need to increase the support of those caring for those with dementia.”