AMA submission to the Department of Health – Specialist Dementia Care Units

22 Jan 2018

The Specialist Dementia Care Unit (SDCU) program is an initiative by the Department of Health that aims to support people experiencing severe Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). With an ever increasing prevalence of dementia in Australia, the AMA understands the Government’s push for the SDCU program. However, it should be noted that the SDCU program does not represent a holistic solution to the many issues surrounding dementia – rather it attempts to deal with one specific issue within the context of the wider problems with Australia’s aged care system. It is also important to ensure that Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) do not rely heavily on this program as a substitute for improving dementia management in usual RACF settings. This submission highlights issues with the current aged care services, and system as a whole, that need to be rectified in order to prevent people living with dementia deteriorating to such severe levels of behavioural distress that they require SDCUs.