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Medical Health Aged Care, Political

Dementia-Friendly Communities Action Plan Announced for South Australia

Dementia Australia 4 mins read

Dementia Australia, with Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenors Erin Thompson MP and Penny Pratt MP, today announced South Australia is one step closer to becoming a more dementia-friendly state.

 

The Parliamentary Dementia-Friendly Communities Action Plan commenced at a Roundtable meeting at the Parliament of South Australia in 2023 and is the second Plan currently in place, with the New South Wales Action Plan launched last year.

 

The Action Plan for South Australia was developed in consultation with Dementia Australia Dementia Advocates and the Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenors and has now been finalised, with implementation to roll out over the next two years.

 

Championed by the Co-Convenors, working alongside Dementia Australia, the comprehensive Action Plan details how South Australian Members of Parliament can lead in making their electorates more dementia-friendly. The ongoing implementation of the Plan will ensure that the needs of people living with dementia, their families and carers remain top-of-mind across the parliamentary community of South Australia.

 

In 2024 it is estimated there are around 34,170 people living with all forms of dementia in South Australia and this figure is projected to increase to around 55,600 by 2054.

 

The Action Plan will harness the broad range of information, tools and supports provided by Dementia Australia, empowering the Co-Convenors and their Parliamentary colleagues to advocate for dementia-friendly communities across their electorates and within parliament.

 

Dementia Australia General Manager Policy and Advocacy Kylie Miskovski said the Action Plan for South Australia marks a significant new chapter for the Dementia-Friendly Communities program in the state, which has been raising awareness and fostering support for people living with dementia for almost a decade.

 

“The focus of the program has been on grass roots community advocacy, actions and activity to help drive awareness of the disease and to work towards reducing the stigma that is sadly still experienced by many people living with dementia.

 

“The Action Plan represents a new and exciting component in the Dementia-Friendly Communities program in South Australia, and I am delighted to join with our Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenors to announce this initiative today.

 

“The support of the Co-Convenors and the South Australian parliamentary community is invaluable in advocating for people living with dementia, their families and carers and I wish to thank all of those who assisted to create the Action Plan for South Australia,” Ms Miskovski said.

 

Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenor Erin Thompson MP, Member for Davenport said:

“Almost everyone has been touched by dementia in some way, whether they are affected personally or know a loved one who has experienced this awful illness.

 

“This is why I’m delighted to work with Dementia Australia and my Parliamentary colleagues to help support the needs of those living with dementia.

 

“I look forward to the Action Plan for South Australia being rolled out in the community so we can assist those living with dementia but also their families and carers, who do an amazing job,” Ms Thompson said.

Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenor Penny Pratt MP, Member for Frome said:

“I am proud to be involved with the inaugural Dementia-Friendly Communities Action Plan for South Australia and I am committed to assisting people living with dementia as well as their families and carers.

 

“As parliamentarians we have well established connections to grass root communities which means we are well positioned to bring advocacy and attention to a disease that does not discriminate between young and old,” Ms Pratt said.

 

Dementia Australia Advisory Committee member Ann Pietsch, who informed parliamentarians about her living experience of dementia at the Roundtable meeting last year which kick started the Action Plan, said:

 

 “As a person living with dementia, I am excited and encouraged that South Australia is implementing the Action Plan. This will help to ensure that there is greater knowledge and understanding of dementia and help in reducing the stigma associated with the disease, as well as a commitment to the Dementia-Friendly Communities program.

 

“Each of the actions contained in the Plan are integral to the acceptance of each individual person living well with dementia, their families and carers,” Mrs Pietsch said.

 

Dementia Australia Dementia Advocate Geoff Richards who also attended the Roundtable, and who is a carer for his wife Trish who lives with dementia, said:
 

“I attended the Roundtable meeting in 2023 and I was excited by the support shown by Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenors Erin Thompson MP and Penny Pratt MP.

 

“Dementia is a growing quickly and age has nothing to do with determining when you could be impacted.  We now have young people being diagnosed with dementia, and I give my full support to the establishment of the Parliamentary Dementia-Friendly Communities Action Plan for South Australia,” Mr Richards said.

 

The Action Plan is intended as a living document, allowing for future opportunities and activities to be included over the course of the implementation. Some key deliverables from the Dementia-Friendly Communities Action Plan for South Australia include:

 

 

-Ends-

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you. 

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au  

Media contacts: Gabrielle Prabhu, Media & Communications Manager, 0447 253 583 or Gabrielle.Prabhu@dementia.org.au   

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.

Note to Editors:

We request, where possible, details for the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 appear alongside news stories about dementia, as these stories often prompt questions or concerns:

If this story has prompted any questions or concerns, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or visit dementia.org.au.

 


Contact details:

Gabrielle Prabhu, Media & Communications Manager, 0447 253 583 or Gabrielle.Prabhu@dementia.org.au

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