Late last year the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, announced a new Government initiative that 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. It is a $54.5 million commitment to establish Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) across Australia that would better support residents with dementia to minimise them from being unnecessarily transferred to a higher security or acute facility.
These teams commenced in November 2015 and are mobile squads of clinical experts able to provide advice and assessment to residential aged care providers within four hours of a request for assistance.
This initiative recognised that aged care residents are most comfortable in a familiar environment and this program will provide that helping hand to better manage people in their current community who exhibit severe behaviour because of their dementia. The teams are available seven days a week.
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. She added that 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 last year, of which over 50 per cent will provide support for residents who are likely to have dementia.
Read more here.
By Lyn Lucas