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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1271..


Mr Humphries (continuing):

respect, it does not anticipate the broader issue of the matter on the notice paper, and I would ask that you reconsider your ruling.

MR SPEAKER: It might well be instructive in your further consideration of this matter for you to refer to page 563 of House of Representatives Practice, under the heading "Anticipation". That is certainly something I took into account when I came to this decision. So I just draw that matter to your attention because it might be helpful in your further consideration of the issue.

Dementia sufferers-respite care

MR CORNWELL (10.38): I move:

That the Government:

(1) conduct a feasibility study into the establishment and annual ongoing costs of a four bedroom house for respite care for sufferers of dementia; and

(2) provide the results of the study to the Assembly upon completion.

Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by quoting briefly from a paper of the Alzheimers Association of the ACT:

Dementia is a major cause of disability burden. It is projected that dementia will be the largest source of disability burden for women by 2016 and the fifth largest for men.

Jorm et al estimated that in 1995 there were 1200 people diagnosed with dementia in the ACT. However, specialist geriatricians in the ACT believe that this is a conservative estimate, and that this number is only about one third of actual people with dementia.

If we accept that estimate, we have over 3,000 people here in the ACT suffering from some form of dementia. We know that in 1995 there were 1,200 and, indeed, independent advice to me indicates that there are perhaps more than 1,700 people being cared for privately at home, either by carers or by their own families.

We also know that there are an identified 254 dementia beds available here in the ACT. We do not know how many respite dementia beds are available. I make that distinction of dementia respite beds as opposed to general respite beds because, unfortunately, the figures are confused both by the use of respite beds obviously by people who do not have dementia and particularly by the use of these respite beds for people convalescing from hospital. This is a matter that needs to be addressed-and urgently, I suggest-by the government. But it is a matter to be debated on another day. Therefore, we have a considerable shortfall in the number of respite dementia beds available for an estimated 1,700 plus people who are being cared for by loved ones and by other carers out in the community.


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