OPINION: Aged care training an opportunity

WATCHING a loved one suffer with Parkinson's - or even worse, being diagnosed themselves - is a heartbreaking reality for hundreds of people on the Fraser Coast.

Sadly, the number of sufferers will only increase rapidly as the average age of the region's population increases.

While Parkinson's can affect younger people, the average age of onset is about 62.

The rise of age-related conditions like Parkinson's and dementia means the Fraser Coast is facing a rapidly escalating problem, while resources to treat these issues are not going up in tandem with the statistics.

Public awareness of these issues will go some way to help, as suggested by the Hervey Bay Parkinson's Support group, but specialist care is also needed and will be even more necessary in the near-to-mid future.

With the aged care industry booming on the Fraser Coast, now is the time for pushing the region as a "centre of excellence" in health care training specifically aimed at the elderly.

We have the excellent health care facilities, the university facilities, and most of all, we have the need.



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