Dementia Australia today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of the phased approach to be taken with the introduction of the Specialist Dementia Care Program to ensure the service model can be appropriately tested, evaluated and improved before a broader rollout nationally.
Maree McCabe Dementia Australia CEO said the commencement of the program is an important development that will aim to provide specialist residential care and support for a vulnerable group of people with high needs requiring a more supportive environment.
“There is a small but important proportion of the 436,000 Australians living with dementia who will be able to access this support,” Ms McCabe said.
“Some people with very severe behaviours may require specialised supports which is why this program represents an integral element of the broader aged care system.
“It is also essential that this targeted approach is matched by a commitment across the sector to increase dementia specialist training and education more generally.
“People impacted by dementia have long raised concerns with Dementia Australia about the inconsistent support for people exhibiting behaviours that may be a risk to themselves or others – including the use of pharmacological interventions over other forms of support.
“They have questioned the ability of mainstream aged care services to appropriately manage the specialist and unique needs of people living with dementia more broadly and especially those with exceptional needs.
“As the peak body for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers we look forward to contributing to the further development and introduction of the program,” Ms McCabe said.