National Dementia Action Plan consultation
In November 2022, the department released a National Dementia Action Plan consultation paper for public feedback.
The paper included the proposed vision, principles, objectives, focus areas and actions and outlined a 10-year plan to put people living with dementia, their families, and carers at the centre of all action on dementia.
The public consultation period closed on 31 January 2023. We received 906 survey responses, 144 email submissions and more than 50 people responded to the survey or shared their thoughts by phone.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation paper or took part in workshops – your input is key in shaping a strong and effective National Dementia Action Plan.
Who we heard from
The department received substantial feedback on the consultation paper. Of people responding to the survey, 24% were a friend or family member of someone living with dementia, 24% a carer, and 2% people living with dementia themselves. 18% identified as a health care professional and 15% as aged care professionals.
A series of workshops were also conducted with people living with dementia and people caring for those living with dementia. Specific sessions were held for people with younger onset dementia, First Nations people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
What we heard
Respondents were asked to review the proposed vision, objectives, focus areas and actions for the National Dementia Action Plan set out in the consultation paper prior to providing feedback.
This information was made available to respondents in several levels of detail, including a one page summary.
Respondents broadly commended the structure and content of the consultation paper, noting it was clear, comprehensive and that the proposed approach was obviously informed by engagement with people with lived experience of dementia.
In response to the online survey:
- 79% of people thought the vision was right, 6% thought the vision was not right and 15% were unsure
- 69% of people thought all the objectives were right, 26% thought some of them were right and 5% were unsure
- 65% of people thought all the focus areas were right, 28% thought some of them were right and 7% were unsure
- 59% of people thought all the actions were right, 33% thought some of them were right, 1% thought none of them were right and 7% were unsure.
Respondents strongly supported action to:
- address stigma and improve community understanding of dementia
- improve access to, and coordination of, services
- ensure people are well supported and have a plan for action following their diagnosis
- support those caring for people living with dementia, including by improving access to respite care that meets their needs.
- build workforce capacity in understanding dementia and delivering quality dementia care
- additional supports for people living with complex and advanced dementia
- improved data collection, intelligence and monitoring systems
Areas requiring further attention
Some common feedback about areas that require more attention in finalising the Plan included:
- valuing people living with dementia and respecting their human rights, including legal protections and clarity regarding decision-making requirements
- emphasising the importance of person-centred, strengths-based and reabling care that gives people living with dementia purpose
- dementia enabling physical environments
- specific interventions to improve outcomes for people living with dementia, their carers and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and First Nations people
- more detail about specific actions to achieve the objectives, including proposed roles and responsibilities, timeframes and funding needed
- strong performance measures that accurately reflect the impact of the actions on people living with dementia, their carers and families
- ongoing monitoring and transparent reporting, including to review the effectiveness of actions.
What we’re doing
Work on the final National Dementia Action Plan is underway, including further analysis of the feedback and engagement with key stakeholders.
It is anticipated that the Plan will be agreed by all governments later this year and released in 2024.
Let's change aged care, together
Every Australian should feel confident about accessing high quality and safe aged care, when and where they need it.
The changes mean older Australians will have greater choice and control, services that respect and meet their needs, and support to stay independent as they age.
To find out more and help design the changes, visit the Get Involved page or call 1800 318 209.