THE government is seeking community input into new specialist care units for people living with severe behaviours associated with advanced dementia.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the establishment of the units was an election promise and part of the Government's comprehensive strategy for dementia care and treatment.
"With an estimated 350,000 Australians already living with this condition, we understand the importance of doing everything we can to support improved dementia care, treatment and research."
The Minister said the SDCU feedback would inform advice to Government on the final shape of the initiative, including funding and administrative options.
"We want to hear from individuals and organisations who have knowledge about or experience of dementia, especially an understanding of the needs and care for people with very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia," said Mr Wyatt.
"This may include aged care workers, health professionals, academics, peak body representatives, policy makers, people with dementia, and their families and carers."
Once the preferred model of care and administrative arrangements are decided on there will be further targeted consultation with stakeholders on detailed implementation and transition strategies.
"It's proposed that SDCUs could operate as small units, comprising eight to 12 beds, within larger residential aged care facilities," Mr Wyatt said.
"They will provide a person-centred, multidisciplinary approach to care for people with very severe BPSD who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services.
Mr Wyatt said it was projected that around one million Australians could be affected by dementia by 2050.
The consultation paper and submission details are available at the Department of Health's consultation hub, consultations.health.gov.au (search for dementia care units) or can be requested by phone 02-6289-1555 or freecall 1800-020-103.
Input can be given on some or all, of the topics and questions in the consultation paper.
People encountering any difficulties using the hub can email email@example.com