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Research and development essential for improved dementia care

The Australian Greens have today welcomed Alzheimer's Australia to Parliament House, hosting a morning tea for MPs and staff to be briefed on the latest develops and the need for ongoing investments in dementia research, treatment and care.

"Dementia remains one of Australia's major health issues with the number of people with dementia continuing to grow as our population ages" said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing.

"Significantly, around 1.2 million Australians are caring for someone with dementia.

"The Greens strongly support calls for increased investment into areas such as research and development, particularly for early diagnosis of dementia, as well as assistance for carers - both paid and unpaid.

"Individuals, families and communities are all affected by dementia - it is essential that long term planning and investment decisions are made now, in order to ensure that we are prepared for the increase in cases in coming years.

"It can be really tough to talk about these issues, which is why Alzheimer's Australia's 'Bring it to the Table' campaign is so important. It encourages people to take the opportunity to talk with friends or family about dementia in a relaxed setting," Senator Siewert concluded.

Alzheimer's Australia WA CEO, Ms Rhonda Parker, said community and workplace support is vital, with dementia now the third leading cause of death in Australia.

"Dementia is now a very personal and far-reaching condition. 29, 600 people are living with some form of dementia in WA and the impact - and uncertainties - that comes with diagnosis also touches their families, friends and wider network," said Ms Parker.

"So many people are now personally impacted by this condition, as they know someone with dementia, and I think all Australians were touched after the recent passing of Hazel Hawke."

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