BRING IT BACK: Peggy Frankish signs the petition.
BRING IT BACK: Peggy Frankish signs the petition. Inga Williams

Pensioners sign up to ask govt to give subsidy back

DOZENS of Ipswich senior citizens lined up to sign a petition for the Abbott Government to restore the dementia and severe behaviour supplement (DSBS) that was cut on August 1.

The $16 a day supplement was previously paid to approved aged care providers.

Those signing the petition at a Senior Week function in Ipswich told the QT they were concerned about the burden this may now put on family members.

Ipswich's Peggy Frankish, who runs a support group for people who have had strokes, said politicians sometimes "don't live in the real world".

"It is very bad. The families are the ones who suffer," she said.

"I just 12 months ago lost my husband. He didn't have dementia. But I run a stroke support group for people who have had strokes, and we have a couple of people in our group who have early stages of dementia and they deserve all the help they can get.

"They are most worthy.

"For those looking after someone with dementia it is full on. It is 24/7."

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Blair MP Shayne Neumann, also the shadow minister for ageing, said "330 000 Australians, including thousands locally, are going to miss out".

"This cut means the quality of care that people are likely to receive that suffer from severe dementia will be reduced.

"The dementia and severe behaviour supplement has been in operation since the middle of last year and there has been a great take-up of it, but the government has cut it," he said.

"The great irony of this is that the dementia and cognition supplement that is provided for people in their homes will continue."So if you are in your home you will get a supplement but if you are in a residential age care facility, and properly worse off in a dementia unit, you won't get the supplement

"Families will have to come into those settings and provide the kind of around the clock care that in the past the aged care providers who were getting the extra supplement could deliver themselves.

The petition can be signed online at: alp.org.au/dementia.

For information call 3201 5300.


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