Cessation of dementia and severe behaviours supplement? ….Don’t do this!

Diversional Therapy Australia – Press Release  July 21, 2014

The Board of Diversional Therapy Australia (DTA) would like to express their strong disappointment in the announcement of the termination of the dementia and severe behaviours supplement announced on 26th June 2014.

However, the DTA Board look forward to hearing Minister Fifield’s plans for an ongoing commitment to people who experience challenges as a result of severe behaviours, their carers and the range of staff who support people with behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), including support through consultative processes.

There is a significant requirement for support of residential aged care facilities by the provision of, and access to, Diversional Therapists and other Allied Health professionals to assist in developing programs and implementing education that supports the engagement of people experiencing dementia and associated behaviours.

Diversional Therapy Australia sees the role of qualified Diversional Therapists within the aged care sector as specialists and mentors to both care and lifestyle staff in the development and implementation of programs, and sustaining environmental changes designed to encourage enablement and to foster wellbeing and reablement through positive engagement.

Maintaining these extra resources – even increasing them – will reduce costly admissions to emergency departments and in hospital wards that result from unmanaged symptoms of dementia and severe behaviour issues. Through individual, meaningful and personalised programs, the opportunity for managing behaviours of concern is maximised. As a result of these programs, and through purposeful therapeutic interventions, reduced chemical or physical restraint use is likely. These are best practice guidelines which underpin the aged care sector in respectful dementia care.

DTA formally requests that additional funding and support be reallocated to residential aged care facilities so the increasing number of individuals within residential care diagnosed with dementia, have consistent and ongoing opportunities for meaningful engagement, supporting a positive and meaningful quality of life, through best practice and evidence based programs and activities delivered by trained professionals.

Further information or discussion contact Louise Absalom, President DTA enquiries@diversionaltherapy.org.au 02 9887 5035

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