News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Change the game for Kiwis living with dementia

Change the game for Kiwis living with dementia

One of New Zealand’s greatest health and social challenges is reaching a tipping point, but the Government hasn’t yet run out of time to ensure dementia is a health priority, Alzheimers NZ says.

Chair, Dr Ngaire Dixon, was disappointed the Government dropped the ball on dementia care – much like the last Government – when it left out funding for services and support systems for the rapidly growing number of Kiwis with dementia in May’s Budget.

Should the Government delay taking action, New Zealand will have difficulty making sure people living with dementia can access adequate and consistent levels of support so they can live well, she says.

However, the Government’s 2019 Budget is an opportunity to make a positive difference by beginning the process that will see change for New Zealand’s ever-growing dementia community.

“People living with dementia are amongst New Zealand’s most vulnerable. They are currently being let down by a system that is marginalising them – services for people living with dementia are inadequate, delivered inconsistently across the country, and are of variable quality.

“We know that if dementia is not tackled urgently and effectively at a public health level, many other community wellbeing goals are put at risk.”

Dr Dixon was speaking at the 2018 Alzheimers NZ Conference Tackling Dementia: It’s Everybody’s Business.

She acknowledged New Zealand has a range of pressing and unmet health needs, but said there are none as likely to have the social and fiscal impact on our country as the rapidly ageing population and the growing numbers of people affected by dementia.

One of Alzheimers NZ’s key messages for Budget 2019 is for Government to start implementing the existing New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care.

Dr Dixon said there are six simple steps that will change the game for New Zealand’s dementia community:
1. Invest in prevention and risk reduction;
2. Intervene early to improve detection, diagnosis and support;
3. Support people to live well;
4. Support family carers to continue to provide care;
5. Build age and dementia friendly communities;
6. And establish indicators, monitor progress, and conduct research.

“It’s not too late to change the game for New Zealanders living with dementia, to put in place the systems, support and services that Kiwis are going to need in coming years, and to reduce the cost burden on the country,” Dr Dixon says.

“Inaction on dementia now means saddling future governments with an unnecessarily large multi-billion-dollar problem.

“We strongly urge the government to seriously consider our proposal as part of Budget 2019.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland