Re-thinking Dementia Care

by Steven
Dementia is currently the second highest cause of death in Australia - and this is increasing rapidly. In 2016, over 400 thousand people in Australia have Dementia and this is expected to double in the next 20 years.
  • In 2016, 2% of all 60-64 year olds in Australia suffered from Dementia1.
  • In 2036, 25% of all 60-64-year-old Australians are expected to suffer from Dementia.
That means in 20 years, potentially, every 4th 60-64-year-old Australian you meet could have Dementia. A scary thought! It is time that we reassessed the approach to providing care for these people. While Dementia currently has no cure, and is degenerative, improved physical environments and appropriate care can improve the quality of life for those with Dementia. I attended a recent Dementia Training Australia workshop and took away the following strategies:
  • Ideally, all residential aged care should be designed to cater for Dementia patients.
  • Dementia facilities need to accommodate sufferers in their psychological reality.
  • Dementia care is everyone’s responsibility and should be integrated into the community. (Refer to our blog arguing for integration of aged care rather than isolated villages)
  • Person-centred care is critical and needs to focus more on the person rather than the Dementia.
Edmiston Jones GBB pay careful attention to the critical elements that need to cater for people with Dementia in the design of our buildings. Dementia Training Australia’s Richard Fleming has developed 10 key design principles for the physical environment. These include reducing risks as unobtrusively as possible; designing to a human scale; allowing people to see (and be seen); managing the levels of stimulation and creating spaces that are familiar but ones that also provide a variety of experiences.
1 The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling NATSEM (2016) Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056
Re-thinking Dementia Care