The number of Australians over the age of 65 is estimated to double by 2030, if the latest projection data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is anything to go by. Coupled with Australian families having fewer children, the proportion of the population made up of older Australians is set to jump from 14 per cent, to around 20 per cent in the next 15 years.
One of the biggest challenges an ageing population will have on the community is the increased incidence of dementia. Currently, over 350,000 Australians are living with it according to Alzheimer’s Australia, and that number is sent to surpass 400,000 in less than five years. Dementia already has a huge impact on the economy, and the care for dementia patients will comprise of one per cent of Australia’s GDP within two decades.
At DBS Accountants, we want to assist our valued clients with adapting to a changing society by providing sound financial advice and planning services, so that your business can better meet the needs of an ageing population.
Dementia in the community
Living with dementia is debilitating, and pharmacies looking to provide better care for their patients should be mindful of this.
Around 70 per cent of Australian dementia patients live in the community, according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, so pharmacists looking to stay ahead and anticipate the needs of Australia’s ageing population should be thinking about measures they can take in order to position themselves as “dementia friendly” service providers.
Around 70 per cent of dementia patients live in the community.
What community pharmacies can do
While the characteristics of dementia vary on an individual basis, the Pharmaceutical Society suggests a number of things pharmacies can do now to provide their clients with a better service in the future:
- Train staff in employing communications strategies for people with dementia.
- Assess the physical environment of your pharmacy. In particular, the presence of adequate signage, lighting and contrast.
- Consulting with dementia care providers to identify patients specific needs.
- Review areas in the dispensing process with the aim to minimise opportunities for confusion when dealing with prescriptions.
Meeting the needs of an ageing population will require some changes for community pharmacies, and without adequate financial or business strategies in place, you may find yourself falling behind. Instead of focusing on bookkeeping and managing accounts, let us give you the freedom to better meet the needs of your customers, no matter their age and ability.
To find out more, get in touch with our team today.