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New report highlights dementia mate wareware as ‘critical issue’ for ageing Kiwis

New Zealand can expect a 240 per cent jump in dementia mate wareware cases in coming years, which makes the recommendations in the just released report by the Aged Care Commissioner critically important.

That’s the message from Alzheimers NZ chief executive, Catherine Hall, who says the lack of system-wide planning for Aotearoa New Zealand’s ageing population, including the looming ‘dementia mate wareware crisis’, is a difficult to understand.

“Given older people are the biggest users of the health systems and ageing is the most significant risk factor for dementia mate wareware, you’d think health policymakers would be very focused on addressing this issue, but they’re not.

“The health system is not planning for New Zealand’s ageing population in any meaningful way,” she says.

The Aged Care Commissioner’s report ‘Amplifying the voices of older people across Aotearoa New Zealand’ highlights the lack of support and care for older people and whānau living with dementia mate wareware.

That’s one of three critical issues listed in the report in which commissioner, Carolyn Cooper, says there is a lack of a dedicated strategy and planning for the health needs of an ageing population.

Hall was also pleased to support the Commissioner’s call to reduce the number of people living with dementia mate wareware in future by investing in public health measures, including hearing aids.

She also backs the call for a coordinated strategy and action plan for older people, both to address the growing unmet need and prepare for increased need as New Zealand’s population continues to age.

“Our ageing population is not a new phenomenon. We’ve known it was happening, and our policymakers and politicians should know and be planning for, the impact, especially on the health system.”

Hall said it is important to help older people navigate the health system, and improve the transitions of care across hospital, the community and residential care.

“The Dementia Mate Wareware Action Plan, that the dementia mate wareware sector drafted as a national response plan for Government, holds the key to addressing many of the issues raised in the Commissioner’s report,” Hall said.

 

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