Carers on the Central Coast

13 September 2017

House of Representatives

Wednesday 9 November 2016

At listening posts across the Central Coast I was humbled to meet so many people who care for others in my community. At my listening post in Woongarrah, I met Diedre, whose adult daughter lives with complex disability. She is worried about what will happen to her daughter when she is too old to care for her. At Toukley I met Nicole, whose father suffered a spinal injury and is now dealing with the aged-care system, years before they ever expected or wanted to. At Tumbi Umbi, I met Denis, who has cared for and lost both his parents, and has preserved their memory in books.

Around 27,000 people on the Central Coast care for someone each and every day, often without respite, and they need our support. Ours is a dedicated, compassionate community; we care for those around us and we want to help. We have people like Bev, who, with her husband, Steve, helped to start YODSS, the Central Coast Younger Onset Dementia Social Support, a lifeline for those who live with dementia and those who care for them.

I am sure they are welcoming, as am I, the release today in Parliament House of the new Diagnosis, treatment and care for people with dementia: a consumer companion guide. It is important that leaders and policymakers are aware of the impact that dementia will have on our communities in the future, as well as the services and care available to those living with dementia, and their families. We deserve quality, local and well-funded support services to help us help others.

My voice in this place is my community's voice. To the residents who have given me their time and shared their stories with me: thank you.