Seeking views on Specialist Dementia Care Units

The Federal Government is seeking community input on how to best implement planned new Specialist Dementia Care Units (SDCUs) for people living with severe behaviours associated with advanced dementia.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said an estimated 350,000 Australians are already living with dementia and the SDCU feedback would help shape the initiative, including funding and administrative options.

“We want to hear from individuals and organisations who have knowledge about or experience of dementia, especially an understanding of the needs and care for people with very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD),” Mr Wyatt said.

“This may include aged care workers, health professionals, academics, peak body representatives, policy makers, people with dementia, and their families and carers.”

Once the preferred model of care and administrative arrangements are decided, there will be further targeted consultations with stakeholders on how best to implementation the strategies.

Mr Wyatt said it was proposed the SDCUs could operate as small units of between eight and 12 beds, within larger residential aged care facilities.

“They will provide a person-centred, multidisciplinary approach to care for people with very severe BPSD who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services. 

“The units will offer specialised, transitional residential support, focussing on reducing or stabilising symptoms over time, with the aim of enabling the person to move into a less intensive care setting.”

Mr Wyatt said it was projected that around one million Australians could be affected by dementia by 2050.

Stakeholders wanting to provide feedback on the SDCU initiative can visit the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub to read the paper and make a submission. Respondents can provide input on some, or all, of the topics and questions in the consultation paper.

People encountering any difficulties using the Hub should email dementia@health.gov.au for assistance.

The consultation period closes on 21 January 2018.

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