Published 28 Jan 2016
Dementia, also known as Alzheimer's disease, is a debilitating illness that affects all walks of life in the Australian community. According to Alzheimer's Australia, there are close to 350,000 people across the country who live with the disease, with this number expected to soar in the coming years as the population ages.
In fact, by the year 2050, there could be close to a million people with dementia in Australia if a suitable treatment is not found. These statistics highlight how serious this critical illness is and the importance of supporting those who suffer from it.
New approach to managing dementia
As there is currently no cure for dementia, the government's focus on dementia surrounds programmes and services to help support both those with the disease and their caregivers.
In late January, the federal government announced plans for a complete restructure of the national approach. This comes after the 2015 Analysis of Dementia Programmes, which highlighted the various pressure points in this health area.
Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley explained the crux of the new direction.
"What I want to see is a nationally streamlined approach to the design, development and outcomes from dementia programmes and services. This will produce better services for people with dementia, carers and also providers, each of whom need to know the range of support and assistance accessible irrespective of where you live," she said.
"We will also work with current stakeholders to develop an improved range of consumer support programmes to help care for those with dementia across the life-cycle of the disease, improving consistency of support to them and their carers."
Alzheimer's costs the Australian health and aged care systems around $5 billion per year, based on Alzheimer's Australia figures. This illustrates the importance of finding both effective and long-term solutions. While the taxpayer supports those with the disease, their careers and families, the financial burden can be difficult to manage.
Fortunately, there is the opportunity to make a critical illness claim under your insurance policy if you are beginning to suffer the impact of Alzheimer's. In the event you have stopped work and need help with medical expenses, this type of claim can ensure that these bills are covered as part of your insurance agreement.
For more information about making a critical illness claim, contact the team at Superannuation Dispute today.