24/7 dementia support, counselling, and services to start
People living with dementia and carers will have access to services with the Government’s $102 million commitment to expand the National Dementia Support Program from Dementia Australia.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM welcomed the significant increase in funding from the Federal Government that will enable the expansion of access to services like counselling, post-diagnostic support programs, early intervention programs and education sessions.
“For the first time we will also be able to expand the operating hours of the National Dementia Helpline to be 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week,” Ms McCabe said.
“The National Dementia Helpline, 1800 100 500, is a vital first point of contact for people with any concerns about their own or a loved one’s cognition, for anyone who is experiencing symptoms, and for any Australian needing support or information to access early diagnosis and support.”
Bobby Redman, Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee, who lives with dementia said knowing that you’re not alone and having somewhere to turn to at a time of need was so important in reducing fears and increasing the ability to cope.
“The ability to increase the National Dementia Helpline to 24/7 is a major breakthrough that will ensure help will be there whenever it is needed,” Ms Redman said.
The National Dementia Helpline will be available to anyone living with dementia, their families and carers, at any time for any questions, information, support and to connect people into other services and support including My Aged Care, The Carer Gateway and the Dementia Behaviour Advisory Service.
“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is overwhelming news for any individual and for family and friends,” Ms McCabe said.
“Accessing supports immediately after diagnosis is vital for people impacted to learn how to live well and independently with dementia.
“It is also important for GPs, geriatricians, nurses and allied health professional to know the National Dementia Helpline is there to assist them when they are supporting their patients.”
“This, along with the other additional support services being rolled out as part of the increased investment in the National Dementia Support Program will go a long way towards improving the lives of people living with dementia and their carers,” Ms Redman said.
Currently the National Dementia Helpline operates from 8am-8pm, from Monday-Friday, excluding public holidays. The expanded operating hours are expected to start from March 2022.
More information about the National Dementia Helpline service can be found at https://www.dementia.org.au/helpline.
For support, contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available and the Helpline is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au .
17 December 2021.