Specialist Dementia Care Units will be established in each of the 31 Primary Health Network regions across Australia over the next four years, though it is not yet clear how funding from the Department of Health for the units will be allocated.
The Government confirmed its $7.5m election commitment to establish the units in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) last week.
HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd said the commitment to establish specialist dementia care units have been “the missing link in dementia care in Australia” and will enable better targeted care.
“While the Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) and the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) provide on-the-ground, expert clinical support and case management, special care units are needed to provide additional specialist residential support,” he said
Dr Judd said he understood 372 places in specialist dementia care units will be made available over the next four years, indicating that Dementia Support Australia, a partnership led by HammondCare, is already involved in planning of the units.
In September it was announced that HammondCare would lead a consortium to deliver the new Dementia Support Australia service, replacing the existing state-based Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) while the Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Care Essentials program would be consolidated under Dementia Training Australia and led by dementia educators and trainers from five universities and Alzheimer’s Australia WA.
Dr Judd said a key priority is to ensure people living with dementia in rural and remote locations will have access to a unit and that location would be based on demographic need.