HammondCare welcomes funding for Specialist Dementia Care Units

HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd has welcomed establishment funding for Specialist Dementia Care Units, included in this week’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).

Plans to establish the units were first announced as a $7.5 million election commitment by Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley during HammondCare’s international dementia conference in June 2016.

The Government plans to establish Specialist Dementia Care Units in each of the 31 Primary Health Network regions across Australia over four years with ongoing costs met from within existing resources of the Department of Health.

A Specialist Dementia Care Unit provides care for people who experience very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and are unable to be supported in a mainstream aged care service.

“The commitment to establish specialist dementia care units is a great step in the right direction for people living with dementia and will mean better targeted care,” Dr Judd said.

“We understand 372 places in specialist dementia care units will be made available over the next four years and this really is very important because they have been the missing link in dementia care in Australia.

“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.”

Location of the units will be based on demographic need – some regions may require access to more than one unit.

A key priority is to ensure people living with dementia in rural and remote locations will have access to a unit.