The Dementia in Australia 2021 report has highlighted the increasing impact of the disease nationwide, with up to 472,000 Australians currently living with the illness, making it one of the leading causes of death in the country.
According to the report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost 1.6 million people in Australia are involved in the care of individuals living with dementia, including aged care workers and informal carers such as families and loved ones.
This highlights the importance of adequate training being delivered to people providing care to ensure those living with dementia are being treated with dignity and respect, with their individual needs met and understood.
In May this year, the Australian government announced it was investing $229.4m to improve care services for people living with dementia. As part of this funding, the government highlighted the need to:
- Train staff to become “dementia leaders”
- Provide clearer regulations on the use of restraint (restrictive practices), including physical and chemical restraint only being used as a last resort after behaviour support strategies have been used
- Train representatives of all aged care providers on positive approaches to managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia