Australia's population is ageing and over the next 20 years the number of people with dementia is predicted to more than double. Early diagnosis and intervention has been shown to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, as well as for family members and carers.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing has released its report Thinking Ahead: Report on the inquiry into dementia: Early diagnosis and intervention. The 17 recommendations include :
* A national public awareness campaign to aid recognition of early signs of dementia and to reduce stigma.
* Establishment of a national dementia training program for GPs
* A review of MBS items to determine whether new items need to be added for appropriate support.
* Training for rural primary care providers to implement timely diagnosis and treatment
* The implementation of Clinical Nurse Specialists in dementia, and a Cognitive Impairment Identifier in public hospitals