Oct 27, 2022

New dementia care action plan launched to enhance quality of care

New dementia care action plan launched to enhance quality of care

A new dementia care action plan has been launched as part of a cross-sector commitment to improving and embedding a high level of quality dementia care for people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Led by Dementia Australia, the development of the Quality Dementia Care Initiative Action Plan has included direct consultation with people with dementia, Government departments and dementia industry experts.

Major initiatives within this action plan include the development of National Dementia Education Standards, increased Government funding for dementia training and support, and the development of new design standards for a Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework.

Dr Kaele Stokes, Dementia Australia Executive Director of Advocacy & Research, said the Plan puts dementia care at the forefront of decision-making processes as it has too often been absent in the past.

“People with a lived experience of dementia want to ensure that their voices are heard, that quality dementia care involves them and that their contribution leads to greater inclusion, support, respect and ultimately, improved quality of life,” Dr Stokes said.

“It focuses very deliberately on those initiatives that collectively will improve quality care for people living with dementia.

“The plan is particularly important in light of the Federal Budget announcement this week, which flags a commitment to improve safety, dignity, quality and humanity in the aged care sector.”

Dr Stokes said consultation has been ongoing since 2018, and the extensive work led to the identification of three key focus areas.

All objectives feature people with dementia at the centre and include:

  • Dementia support pathways – People living with dementia, their families and carers have optimal access to the integrated services and supports they need to live the life they choose 
  • Building workforce capability – The workforce, leadership and culture each understands and supports dementia, and have the skills and knowledge to sustainably embed quality dementia care 
  • Dementia-friendly design – Physical environments support people living with dementia to be as independent as possible 

Ann Pietsch, a dementia advocate and person with dementia who was involved with the development of the Plan, hopes to see meaningful results.

“The plan is a great step towards achieving quality dementia care and quality aged care for people living with dementia,” Ms Pietsch said. 

Government commits to increased dementia support

Implementation of the objectives does not solely rest on Dementia Australia, with the Plan delivered in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC), Dementia Support Australia and Dementia Training Australia.

As part of the objectives, the Department of Health and Aged Care has committed to nearly doubling the funding for the National Dementia Support Program (NDSP) and the Dementia Training Program for vocational and professional development.

Additionally, the Department will also be involved with the development of the Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework alongside Dementia Australia, Dementia Training Australia and the University of Wollongong.

Dr Stokes said the unified approach from cross-sector bodies will ensure quality dementia care is embedded in society.

Ongoing progress will be measured through an annual report card for each key partner, while Dementia Australia will also assess the impact of “collective transformational change” in the aged care sector.

“Change takes time and we expect that activity may not immediately translate into impact,” Dr Stokes added. 

“We do know that if we consistently and collectively strive toward the key focus areas, as articulated by consumers, experiences of quality care will be improved over time.

“In the words of a person living with dementia, ‘if we can get it right for people living with dementia, we can get it right for everyone’.” 

To view the Quality Dementia Care Initiative Action Plan and its objectives, visit Dementia Australia’s website.

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  1. How do you enhance care when you hiring
    Untrained unqualified staff aged care is going backwards Just last night at my work we had a trainee and a agency that was also new to the job work night shift no RN no EEN 30 residents they were left to fend for themselves the money you are spending need a real good look at this is a disgusting
    Practice that been allowed aged care is a sinking ship and when you speak up you are Crucified for it

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