DEMENTIA CARE: In a world first, 35 high-care dementia units will be established across Australia.
DEMENTIA CARE: In a world first, 35 high-care dementia units will be established across Australia. CasarsaGuru

Australia leads way in dementia high-care

NEW Federal Government funding announced today will facilitate the introduction of a world-first Specialist Dementia Care Program.

The $70 million program is for people who have very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. It will provide specialist care for people who are currently unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream residential aged care services.

Thirty-five specialist dementia care units will be established across all states and territories. The first units should be operational by early 2020 with the remainder planned for 2023.

The program will include:

  • Establishment of at least one specialist care unit in each Primary Health Network, generally comprising nine beds, located within existing residential aged care facilities.
  • A nationally-consistent needs-based assessment framework to ensure care is delivered to those most in need.
  • Person-centred and multidisciplinary care delivered in accordance with 10 Specialist Dementia Care Program service delivery principles.
  • Formalised arrangements for regular specialist clinical input and review.
  • Transitional support that focuses on reducing or stabilising symptoms, with the aim of enabling the person to move to a less intensive care setting.
  • Regular reporting on client outcomes, independent evaluation and a focus on identifying and sharing best practice in specialist dementia care.

The program was developed through consultation with dementia experts, clinicians, state and territory governments, dementia peak groups and carers of people living with dementia.

Currently, there are about 436,370 Australians living with dementia. That number is expected to rise to about 589,800 by 2028.

The Specialist Dementia Care Program is an added initiative to the programs already being funded under the various government programs including the research into ultrasound technology to treat Alzheimer's, Aged Care workforce education and professional development, and further research into dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.


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