Providing the helping hand for dementia severe behaviour

A new Government initiative will provide a helping hand to aged care residents who exhibit severe behaviour as a result of their dementia and assist them to manage their symptoms.

Page last updated: 22 October 2015

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22 October 2015

A new Turnbull Government initiative will provide a helping hand to aged care residents who exhibit severe behaviour as a result of their dementia and assist them to manage their symptoms.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley said the $54.5 million commitment to establish Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) across Australia would better support residents with dementia to minimise them from being unnecessarily transferred to a higher security or acute facility.

Ms Ley said the Severe Behaviour Response Teams would commence operation in November and be mobile squads of clinical experts able to provide advice and assessment to residential aged care providers within four hours of a request for assistance.

“Like all of us, aged care residents are most comfortable in a familiar environment and this programme will provide that helping hand to better manage people in their current community who exhibit severe behaviour because of their dementia,” Ms Ley said.

“This service will provide greater peace of mind for residential aged care providers, who can call on the mobile teams seven days a week.

“This initiative will provide additional support in a crisis situation to residents, who may be hitting out at people around them, and manage their behaviour so they can remain in their familiar aged care home.”

Ms Ley said the Severe Behaviour Response Teams are an important addition to the current dementia support programmes, and complement the $11 billion budgeted for residential aged care this year, of which over 50 per cent will provide support for residents who are likely to have dementia.

Following the initial assessment, the Severe Behaviour Response Team will either follow up with a face-to-face or tele-health consultation to assess the causes of the resident’s behaviours and advise care staff or how to resolve the immediate crisis and develop longer term care plans.

“The Severe Behaviour Response Teams fulfil the Government’s commitment to replace Labor’s flawed $11.7 million Dementia and Severe Behaviours supplement, which in just its first year of operation saw a budget blow-out to over $135 million.

“In ceasing the supplement, the Government consulted with the aged care community to develop this new, sensible and responsible programme to provide more people with care when and where they need it.

“This programme will significantly enhance the level of specialist support available to people experiencing severe symptoms of dementia, and the staff who care for them.”

Ms Ley said HammondCare had been selected to establish and operate the programme nationally, following an open competitive process. HammondCare have a long and successful history of specialising in the provision of dementia care to some of our highest needs residents.

This is the first phase of the programme, with phase two to build on the lessons learned from the implementation of phase one by integrating Severe Behaviour Response Teams and the existing Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services.

More information about the Severe Behaviour Response Teams can be found at the Department of Social Services website.

ENDS

Media Contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974

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