Western Australian aged care provider Brightwater Care Group has been selected to operate a prototype service for the government’s national program of specialist care units to support people with severe responsive behaviours associated with dementia.

The prototype service of the now-called Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) will operate within Brightwater The Village in Inglewood within the Perth North Primary Health Network region, according to the government.

A competitive selection processes for the remaining 34 services of will open in 2019 followed by a second funding round two-three years later, it said.

The Australian Government announced it would establish specialist dementia care units in June 2016 in response to calls from experts and aged care stakeholders and confirmed its commitment for one in each of the 31 PHNs nationally in the December 2016 Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook.

Brightwater has been invited to apply for a targeted non-competitive grant to test and refine a model of early access to care to support people who experience very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), which is also be referred to as responsive behaviours associated with dementia.

The total amount of funding available is $5.6 million, according to the grant details.

The SDCP is the third tier of funded support for people with BPSD and complements the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and Severe Behaviour Response Teams.

It aims to provide intensive, specialised care in a dementia-friendly environment for people exhibiting very severe BPSD who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services and transitional support to enable people to move to less intensive care settings.

Up to 1 per cent of all Australians living with dementia are estimated to be in this target group.

The SDCP also aims to generate evidence on best practice care that can be adapted for use in mainstream settings to benefit all people with dementia.

Following the establishment of Brightwater’s SDCP service, the Department of Health will advertise grant opportunities for 14 further specialist dementia care units in early 2019 with those units to be operational in 2020.

The second funding round for 20 units will follow in 2021-22.

The department said it would work with key stakeholders to evaluate and refine the model as it rolls out nationally.

Full rollout is expected in 2022-23 when there will be at least one specialist dementia care unit within a broader residential aged care service in each of the 31 PHNs.

The department’s website will be updated with grant opportunities as they become available.

The current grant opportunity is available here.

Brightwater Care Group has been contacted for comment.

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  1. The establishment of the special units is overdue. Within the last month 2 incidents have occured locally resulting in 2 people being in a locked ward in a local hospital. and the death of another. One person was in a residentia lfacility and was known to be aggressive but , although I do not know the full details, it would appear that the response team was not called in .
    The second person, a very quiet man, was being cared for at home and suddenly became violent. Police were called.. Both these people would benefit from treatment in the special units where qualified clinicians could review medications, look for behaviour triggers and maybe formulate strategies to assist in the caring process,

  2. congratulations to THE VILLAGE. There is definately a need to have a research unit to study and
    hopefully find effective strategies to deal with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.Hopefully some thought would have been given of how this will impact on tne welfare of the existing residents at the Village. There will be times when they will be exposed to violent behaviour or persistant shouting(calling out) and there may be increased risk of harm especially to the frail and disabled residents.
    Will the nursing and caring staff be compensated for the increased work load and increased stressful environment?
    Will there be a need to move present residents to other aged care facilities?

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