$20m for respite care for Queenslanders with dementia

THE Palaszczuk Government is providing $20 million in funding to community-based organisations to provide respite care for Queenslanders living with dementia or neurodegenerative conditions.

Seven community-based organisations with services from Toowoomba to Mareeba will receive funding overthree years to extend respite service hours and deliver tailored care and client activities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding delivered on yet another election commitment to support Queensland seniors and to address the needs of carers.

"Respite care is an essential part of caring for people with dementia," she said. 

"It offers the carer a well-deserved break from their caring responsibilities while providing valuable and meaningful activities for the person receiving care.

"Our Government recognises the need for carers to be able to access extended hours of respite, because extrarespite frees up our thousands of carers so they can work, volunteer, or train to boost their skills and employment prospects.

"This funding not only supports carers by helping them balance their caring responsibilities, it supports Queensland as a whole by giving these people an opportunity to enhance their economic and social participation in our communities."

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the seven funded organisations specialised in respite care and could tailor the respite to the needs of both the client and their carer.

"This care allows clients to participate in a program designed around their needs while reassuring their carer that when they can't be with them, their loved one is in a safe and supportive environment," he said.

"Many carers provide support to people living with dementia or neurodegenerative conditions and in some cases this is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week task.

"It's crucial that we have the support and services available to give these deserving individuals a break from their caregiving roles and responsibilities.

"This funding not only allows for an extra 270,000 hours of dementia respite care through services across Queensland every year, it also funds special assistance to prepare a dementia client for respite care and settle them on their return home."

Mr Dick said there could be up to 75,650 Queenslanders living with dementia by 2019. It is also estimated that there could be up to 104,000 new cases of dementia in Queensland over the next four years.

Minister for Seniors Coralee O'Rourke welcomed more flexible respite services becoming available for older people with dementia and their carers.

"As our population ages, dementia will have a growing impact on individuals, families, the community and carers," she said. 

"It is important that we recognise the vital role carers play in supporting these individuals, because anyone at any time could become a carer for a family member or friend."

The Queensland Government already allocates more than $5 million each year to service providers across Queensland to provide older carers with respite and future planning services, with this latest funding further supporting that commitment.

The following non-government organisations have been granted funding to deliver additional respite services throughout Queensland: 

  • Alzheimer's Association of Queensland - $2.7 million for services in Ipswich
  • Anglicare Southern Queensland - $3.2 million for services in Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Roma, Townsville, Taigum and Cleveland
  • Centacare Community Services - $5.2 million for services in Kingaroy, Hervey Bay, Enoggera, Coorparoo, Jambaroo Heights and Gympie
  • Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast t/a CURA Community Services - $1.3 million for services in Ashmore City
  • Ozcare - $3.3 million for services in Burleigh Heads, Clontarf and Gulliver
  • South Burnett Senior Citizens Welfare Association Inc - $1 million for services in Kingaroy, Nanango Yarraman and Wondai
  • St John's Community Care Limited - $3.2 million for services in Gordonvale, Innisfail, Mareeba and Redlynch 

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