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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Dementia action plan for aged care

Dementia Australia has released a plan to build capacity and capability of the nation’s aged care sector to embed and improve quality care for people living with dementia, their families and carers in Australia.

Dementia Australia Executive Director of Advocacy & Research, Dr Kaele Stokes said the Quality Dementia Care: Action Plan is focused on initiatives that collectively will improve quality care for people living with dementia.

“Our extensive work and consultation with people living with dementia, their families and carers has informed the development of the Quality Dementia Care Action Plan and has been evolving since 2018,” Dr Stokes said.

“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. People impacted by dementia are clear about how to achieve these outcomes for dementia.

“The key focus areas of our Action Plan have been informed by consumers, as articulated in Our Solution: Quality care for people living with dementia and refined further in our Roadmap for quality dementia care.”

Dementia Australia is leading the plan in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Aged Care Workforce Industry Council, Dementia Support Australia and Dementia Training Australia.

The initiatives focused on in the plan 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 understands and supports dementia and has 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 possibleAll of which are underpinned by people living with dementia placed firmly at the centre .

“It is the power of effective partnerships and the translation of these key themes into measurable practices that will be regularly tested with consumers and the workforce on the ground that makes this action plan truly embedded in consumer experiences of quality,” Dr Stokes said.

Ann Pietsch is a Dementia Advocate, was diagnosed with dementia in 2012 and has been involved in developing and informing the plan.

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

“Change takes time. Activity may not immediately translate into impact. We do know that if we consistently and collectively strive toward the key focus areas, experiences of quality care will be improved over time.”

Dr Stokes acknowledged Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Aged Care Workforce Industry Council, Dementia Support Australia and Dementia Training Australia for their ongoing dedication to the plan and its actions.

“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.

“The plan will be a valuable focus during the ongoing aged care reform process and current development of the National Dementia Action Plan.

“We are developing an annual report card which will not only measure progress against the individual initiatives by each key partner, but also the impact of collective transformational change in the aged care sector.

“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’.”

The Quality Dementia Care: Action Plan can be downloaded here.

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