by Amber Macpherson
A TEWANTIN aged care provider has told federal politicians of its desperate need for more beds and an extended dementia unit.
During a visit to NoosaCare's Carramar on Friday, group care manager Sandra Gilbert told Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien the organisation was crying out for more beds to cope with demand.
"People don't put their name on a waiting list until they're in a point of crisis when they're living with dementia,” Ms Gilbert said.
"We have a waiting list of 40 people that want to get in to our (dementia) unit; we have put an application in with council for 48 more beds. That's what we desperately need right now.”
Mr Wyatt said Australia's ageing population meant these issues were across the board.
"The Turnbull government is committed to our ageing population, and Australian seniors,” he said.
"We will continue to look at funding growth, and I'm committed to looking at addressing that waiting list.
"When I visit Carramar, I get a good sense of the way in which facilities like this take care of local people.
"When somewhere is having problems, then we work with them to resolve those issues.”
Mr O'Brien said while aged care was one of the most serious issues facing policy-makers today, this electorate was coping.
"It is a massive challenge. We have higher than normal rates of aged population in Wide Bay,” Mr O'Brien said.
"In terms of funding for beds, Wide Bay has been well-funded. We are keeping up.”
Ms Gilbert said it was now in the hands of Noosa Council to approve the application for a second dementia unit, which would ease demand, and also provide dozens of new jobs.
"If we can build those 48 beds, we have employment for over 50 people that live our community,” she said.