Support for severe symptoms of dementia in aged care

The Federal Government has announced an initiative to expand support for aged care residents experiencing severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.


Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield's announcement follows consultation with the aged care sector through the Ministerial Dementia Forum and the Aged Care Sector Committee.


The Government will allocate $54.5 million over four years to establish Severe Behaviour Response Teams.


Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) will be a mobile workforce of clinical experts who will provide expert advice to residential aged care providers that request assistance with addressing the needs of people with the most severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.


The first phase of the SBRTs is expected to commence nationally later in 2015, following a competitive tender process. The SBRTs will work with the existing Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services in each state and territory.


A second phase will see these two programmes integrated from 2016-2017.


Complementing this initiative, the Government will also conduct an analysis of existing dementia programmes during the first half of 2015.


Currently the Government provides more than $130 million for a range of programmes designed to provide support and assistance to people with dementia and their carers. These programmes have evolved individually over a number of years and may need national coordination and integration to be more effective.


The Ministerial Dementia Forum brought together more than 60 key stakeholders and experts to advise the Government on how to encourage better practice dementia care in both residential and home care settings, and how to best support people who exhibit severe behaviours.


4 February 2015.