Jul 29, 2010

$1.3 million for new dementia day care centre in Haberfield

$1.3 million for new dementia day care centre in Haberfield

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 29 2010

A new $1.36 million dementia day care centre will be built at Haberfield to meet the increasing demand for specialised services.

The purpose built dementia day care centre is one of 16 to be opened as part of the joint Commonwealth and NSW Government funded Home and Community Care program.

The Ella Community Centre will build the facility in St Davids Road, Haberfield. The building will be purpose designed for people with dementia and include a sensory garden and easy access for people with a disability.

The announcement was made at the launch of the Mosaic Project at The Ella Centre to help people with younger onset dementia to tell their personal stories.

The NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Peter Primrose, attended the launch along with the Member for Balmain, Verity Firth.

Mr Primrose said the new centre was the result of combined efforts by the Uniting Church Property Trust, which had contributed land worth $715,000 and the Australian and NSW Governments through the Home and Community Care Program grant of $1.36 million.

“This new dementia day care centre will, when completed, complement the existing work of the Ella Centre and have a clear focus on people with younger onset dementia, as well as people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” Mr Primrose said.

The Commonwealth Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, said dementia day care centres provided important support to people with dementia and their carers through outings, day trips and other social activities, as well as nursing and health services.

“This building of this centre, along with the others throughout New South Wales, is part of the Commonwealth Government’s approach to providing more services to assist people with dementia, investing in staff training to improve care and investing in research,” Ms Elliot said.

Ms Firth said that The Ella Centre was well-known locally for delivering a number of aged and disability care services.

“I am sure residents will welcome this new centre, which will meet increasing demand locally for services,” Ms Firth said.

“A recent prevalence study in the South East Sydney Area Health Service found a high rate of 1 in 750 people aged 45 to 64 years of age with early onset dementia and these numbers are expected to increase over the coming years due to the advent of the baby boomer generations.”

The Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, welcomed the new dementia day care centre and said it demonstrated the Government’s commitment to support people with dementia and their carers.

“The announcement of this new centre is a big step forward for the local community in terms of the services available,” he said.

The Ella Centre also unveiled its Mosaic Project today, which was created by the Younger Onset Dementia Social Support Group.

The 1.5 metres high and one metre wide mosaic was designed by the artist Susanna Mills, using the ideas and thoughts of the members of the group who have outlined what younger onset dementia has meant to them.

Mr Primrose said he hoped that the Mosaic Project would help people understand dementia and its effects.

“Alzheimer’s Australia also estimates that about 5% of all people with dementia are under 65 years of age and are classified as having younger onset dementia. Around 3,000 live in NSW,” he said.

“There are many challenges for people with younger onset dementia and their carers.

“People with younger onset dementia are often physically active and many have been working full time when the symptoms of dementia first appeared.

“Many also may have children at school, or have younger partners as well as ageing parents and have to adjust to the loss of their sense of self, including changing relationships within their family and their loss of independence,” Mr Primrose said.

The NSW Government recently announced that it would provide funding of $250,000 to Alzhemier’s Australia for a study into younger onset dementia to improve services and support for younger people with the disease.