Act Now for a Dementia-friendly Future 18-24 September 2023
The theme for Dementia Action Week 2023 is ‘Act Now for a Dementia-friendly Future,’ which highlights the need to raise awareness and foster acceptance of dementia within our community. CSS supports aged care providers in providing the most appropriate services and environments for our elderly living with dementia.
Why Dementia Matters
Dementia is a pressing concern in Australia, especially for our aging population. Some key facts from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, include:
- Prevalence: Dementia (in 2020) was the second leading cause of death in Australia after coronary heart disease, and was the leading cause of death for women.
- Numbers: There are an estimated 401,300 Australians living with dementia (2022). 54% of people living in permanent residential aged care had dementia in 2019-20.
- Impact: It not only affects the individuals diagnosed but also places significant emotional and financial strain on families and caregivers.
Dementia Action Week 2023
This week (September 18-24) is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging action. Here’s how you can get involved:
- Education: Train your care workers and consumer representatives about dementia and its various forms. Understanding is the first step toward acceptance and support.
- Community Engagement: Organise an event in your residential aged care Home and invite the community to foster understanding and acceptance of dementia. There are resources at Dementia Australia https://www.dementia.org.au/dementia-action-week
Creating a Dementia-friendly Future
Building a dementia-friendly future means taking collective action. Here are some steps we can all take:
- Raise Awareness: Share information about dementia with your consumers, their friends, family, and colleagues. Help break down the stigma.
- Advocate: Provide dementia specific policies and procedures that improve dementia care and environment in your aged care Home.
- Show Compassion: Be patient and understanding with individuals living with dementia. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference.
- Participate in Consultation: The Department of Health and Aged Care are consulting with older people, the aged care sector and design experts to improve the design of residential aged care accommodation. This is in response to recommendation 45 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report. These consultations are helping create a new Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework. This includes National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines to be introduced 1 July 2024. The Draft Design Principles and Guidelines have now been released. They provide a comprehensive, evidence-based resource to guide the design of accommodation that supports high quality, safe, respectful and dignified care.
Feedback can be provided (to 20 October 2023) through a link at
- Embed Dementia Care Standards: The proposed Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards (Link: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/resources/strengthened-quality-standards-framework-analysis) now specifically identify actions providers must take to support persons living with cognitive impairment. Actions include: mitigating increased clinical risks; delivering increased care requirements; being alert to deterioration and, responding to underlying contributing clinical factors and other identified causes of changes in behaviours.
How can CSS assist?
Critical Success Solutions (CSS) can work with you to raise awareness, foster acceptance and take steps to support individuals living with dementia. We can work towards a more dementia-friendly future through:
- Conducting an audit against the new draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines and strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards.
- Facilitating training to your care workers. CSS has two dementia specific PowerPoints ready to conduct one hour training on Dementia Awareness and Non-pharma Dementia Care. We are also currently taking advanced bookingsfor Aged Care Quality Standards training.
- Provide dementia related policies and procedures to enhance your policy suite:
- Changed Behaviour Policy and Procedures
- Consumers who Wander Policy and Procedures
- Deteriorating Consumer Policy and Procedures
Contact Critical Success Solutions to assist you in with your dementia-friendly actions and to tailor support to your needs.