Leadership, culture change, building workforce capacity and continuous improvement are the essential elements to ensuring quality care for people living with dementia, prioritised in Dementia Australia's Quality Care Initiative Action Plan released today.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said this Action Plan represents a consensus view of thought-leaders across the aged care sector.
"The Action Plan was developed by Dementia Australia in consultation with key decision makers within the aged care sector, including representatives from government, regulators, workforce and industry," Ms McCabe said.
"Most importantly it includes a sector commitment to ensuring the quality of care provided consistently to people living with dementia, their families and carers will align to the vision articulated in Our Solution: Quality care for people living with dementia, a consumer-driven communique released in July 2019."
In response to the communique, stakeholder roundtable discussions led by Dementia Australia focussed on how to embed quality dementia care consistently across the aged care system.
"From all participants there was agreement that quality dementia care, when it is embedded consistently across the sector, does not simply benefit those individuals that access aged care services," Ms McCabe said.
"Rather, improving the quality of dementia care (and the culture, education and leadership structures that underpin it) also delivers corollary benefits to other consumers, governments, providers and staff working in the aged care sector.
"Participants agreed that making dementia core business in the aged care sector requires a leadership choice, backed by organisational capability."
To embed dementia as core business certain underpinning capacity-building strategies are required to enable the scale of change people with dementia, their families and carers expect.
The three fundamental components identified are:
Given the importance of the workforce component, the Action Plan is also consciously aligned with and builds upon the Aged Care Workforce Strategy detailed in the Matter of Care report from 2018 much of which is being implemented by the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council. There are also key activities being undertaken by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to promote continuous improvement across the sector.
The Action Plan has so far been endorsed by the Aged Care Guild, Aged Care Workforce Industry Council, Aged & Community Services Australia, Leading Aged Services Australia and, aged care providers Australian Unity, Benetas, Regis Aged Care, Summitcare and Villa Maria Catholic Homes. Dementia Australia is continuing discussions across the sector to encourage further endorsements.
The online weekly Symposium Series will be held for six consecutive weeks starting Tuesday 4 August.
Dementia Australia National Symposium Series attendees will hear and learn from the best of local and international speakers on dementia care, standards, leadership and cultural change.
The online series will feature presentations from people living with dementia, their families and carers as well as Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner; Prof Dawn Brooker, Director of the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies UK; Dr Lisa Trigg, Assistant Director, Research, Data and Intelligence, Social Care Wales, UK; James Adonis, author and leadership educator; Prof John Pollaers OAM, Chancellor, Swinburne University and Executive Chairman of Leef Independent Living Solutions; and Ita Buttrose AC OBE, Dementia Australia Ambassador and Chair ABC.
The free online series will be held weekly for six consecutive weeks beginning Tuesday 4 August. To learn more about the speakers and to register visit the Dementia Australia website here.