Nine Recommendations to Enhance Dementia Care in Australia

Published: January 30, 2024
Nine Recommendations to Enhance Dementia Care in Australia

Dementia is a global concern, and leading advocacy groups are calling for heightened cultural awareness.

Last year, dementia ranked as the second leading cause of death in Australia and the primary cause for women.

Key Takeaways:
“CARE360 and Dementia Care Australia have outlined nine recommendations to enhance care for individuals living with dementia and their families.”

A recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology revealed that people with dementia were less likely to receive hospice care in their last month of life.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has reported that as of February 2023, dementia has overtaken coronary heart disease as the predominant cause of disease burden among Australians aged 65 and older.

The report highlighted a staggering 230,000 hours of healthy life lost due to dementia in 2022 – marking a 61 per cent surge since 2011.

The nine recommendations aim to address workforce training needs to Enhance Dementia Care

1. Encourage early engagement of individuals with dementia, along with their family members and caregivers, in discussions about palliative care.

2. Promote a flexible palliative care model that empowers health and care professionals to provide appropriate care tailored to evolving needs as dementia progresses.

3. Enhance access to specialised palliative care services within the community to cater to the intricate requirements of dementia patients and caregivers, facilitating a broader array of care options.

4. Advocate for mandatory dementia and palliative care training for all healthcare professionals involved in dementia care, encompassing identification, care, and response to behavioural and communication challenges, pain assessment, and end-of-life care strategies.

5. Promote equitable access to health and aged care facilities, ensuring comprehensive care for individuals with behavioural changes eliminating any form of exclusion from services.

6. Improve access to information and conversations with healthcare professionals to prompt individuals with dementia, along with their families and caregivers, to record end-of-life care preferences in advance care plans soon after diagnosis or symptom onset.

7. Champion enhanced access to respite and other support services for families and caregivers of individuals with dementia.

8. Support the establishment of nationally consistent advance care planning legislation, curbing jurisdictional confusion, safeguarding healthcare providers and community members, and enabling cross-border transitions for individuals closer to family and their community.

9. Encourage individuals to link their advance care plans to My Health Record, facilitating timely access for all involved healthcare professionals.

Dementia Care Australia, emphasised that dementia is a terminal illness and proper palliative care stands as a fundamental aspect of quality support.

We invite you to share your insights on the future of dementia care and its potential improvements with the Talking Care360 team. If you or someone you know is displaying signs of dementia, please reach out to our support channels.

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