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Intouch : In Touch Winter 2012
4 IN TOUCH WINTER 2012 DRIVING ADVICE Life After Licences, which raises awareness about the need to plan ahead for retirement from driving and helps older people transition to non-drivers, visited Coffs Harbour on 22 March. As part of Seniors Week, the Life After Licences stall was set up in the Palm Centre and provided information about transport options for those who no longer drive, as well as strategies and emotional support for managing the transition to non-driver. Life After Licences is a group of representatives from AlzNSW, the Aged Care Assessment Team, Community Care Options and Community Transport, and provides services in the Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads and Bellingen areas. DEMENTIA DEATHS ON THE RISE Dementia and Alzheimer's disease remain the third leading cause of death of Australians, behind heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The data, contained in the report ‘Causes of Death, Australia, 2010' has revealed that the number of people who have died from dementia and Alzheimer's disease has increased from 3740 people in 2001 to 9003 people in 2010. CEO of AlzNSW The Hon. John Watkins says this statistic can't be ignored. "We must act now before it is too late, " Mr Watkins said. The report has found that dementia kills more people in Australia than lung cancer, diabetes and breast cancer. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. NEWS NO PLANNING FOR FUTURE CARE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT • Implement a national awareness campaign about planning ahead. • Include Advance Care Directive documentation within the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record. • Ensure that nationally consistent legislation and terminology for Advance Care Directives is developed. • Create and promote awareness of a new MBS Item number to direct GPs and appropriately remunerate them for the extensive work that advanced care plans involve. Less than one in fve Australians has recorded their wishes for end-of-life care and only an estimated 55 per cent of people in NSW have a will, according to a report released by AlzNSW. A staggering 49 per cent of Australians have not taken any action to prepare for the possibility they may lose the ability to make decisions. The discussion paper, What prevents people with dementia making plans for their future? looks at why people with dementia avoid making arrangements for their future health and fnancial wishes. The release of the report, at a NSW Parliamentary Friends of Dementia meeting at NSW Parliament House, comes as new fgures show the extent of the looming dementia epidemic throughout NSW. Estimates indicate that the number of people with dementia in NSW is set to soar from 95,000 in 2012 to more than 300,000 by 2050. In light of this, explains CEO of AlzNSW The Hon. John Watkins, planning ahead and setting out our wishes about our health care and fnancial affairs is more important than ever. "This is not a topic that we, as a population, generally like to talk about, " Mr Watkins says. "And we know from our members that many don't talk about it until it is too late. "But it is vital that we start to consider these issues so that, even if for no other reason, you can ensure that your loved ones know how you would like to be cared for should you fnd yourself in a position where you can no longer make decisions for yourself. "However, not doing it can add stress and trauma at an already diffcult time. ” Research conducted with AlzNSW consumer groups found that people did not make future plans because they: • Did not understand the value of, or were unwilling to seek out information about, planning ahead. • Did not know where to access relevant information. • Had diffculty understanding the terms used in documentation. • Did not receive support from GPs and other health professionals. "These are consistent with what we hear from our clients and members in our day- to-day work, " Mr Watkins said. The discussion paper sets out a series of proposals to address these issues, including recommendations for the Federal Government (see below). The discussion paper also recommends that the NSW State Government clarifes confusion about the legally binding nature of Advance Care Directives and supports ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the ‘Planning Ahead Tools’ website. Copies of the report and the related statistics can be found on the Alzheimer's Australia website. W: www.alzheimers.org.au/nsw Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams MP, co- convenor of NSW Parliamentary Friends of Dementia, at the event in March.
In Touch Autumn 2012
In Touch Autumn 2013