Dementia Response Teams useful but do not solve the problem

4 February 2015 

Catholic Health Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Suzanne Greenwood, says that the Government's announcement today of multidisciplinary 'Severe Behaviour Response Teams' providing expert advice to residential aged care facilities as the response to last year's axing of the Dementia and Behaviour Supplement will be useful for some facilities but does not provide a comprehensive response.

"It will not meet the funding needs of those aged care services that have employed specialised and skilled staff using the former Supplement, and now face the added costs of meeting the needs of residents with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.  The Department of Social Services has acknowledged that the current ACFI care funding system does not capture severe and complex behavioural and psychological symptoms which can be associated with dementia and other conditions."

CHA requested in its 2015-16 Pre-Budget Submission a three pronged approach comprising an expansion of specialist high dependency units, directing funding to those services that can demonstrate capability to offer step down services and manage residents with these severe behaviours, and also providing expert advice response teams.  The Minister has initiated the latter but has not taken action on the former two.

"CHA urges the Government to include in the upcoming Budget the basis for pursuing a more comprehensive strategy."


CONTACT: Suzanne Greenwood, Mobile: 0488 020 244

CHA represents the largest single grouping of non-government health, aged and community care services in Australia.

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