Focus on dementia in recommendations to Aged Care Royal Commission welcomed by Dementia Australia

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Dementia Australia has welcomed the inclusion of dementia-specific recommendations by Counsel Assisting in the final submissions to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said these important recommendations around tailored care pathways, specialist services, service design and workforce capacity reinforce the message from people living with dementia, families and carers that dementia is not yet – but must be – core business for the aged care sector.

“The proposed recommendations in the final submissions indicate to us that concerns of people living with dementia, their families and carers have finally been heard,” Ms McCabe said.

“We support the systematic overhaul of the aged care system, with the recommendations clearly demonstrating how quality dementia care can – and must – be embedded in the design, implementation and monitoring of any redesigned aged care system.

“We are especially pleased to see the recommendation for immediate funding for education and training for the current workforce, with a focus on dementia.

“Dementia Australia has long advocated for mandatory workforce training in dementia care. Improved care for people living with dementia starts with better knowledge and understanding of dementia and how it can impact individuals, and it is heartening to see this reflected in the comments by Counsel Assisting.

“A well-skilled workforce is a fundamental component of improving the quality of care provided to people living with dementia. 

“We also welcome the recommendation to introduce new requirements regulating the use of chemical and physical restraints. The inappropriate and overuse of physical and chemical restraints on people living with dementia in residential aged care homes has been a long-standing issue that the reform process to date has not sufficiently addressed.

“The establishment of a dementia support pathway that delivers a comprehensive, clear and accessible way for people living with dementia, families and carers to access services after a diagnosis of dementia is also an important recommendation, particularly as it touches on the vital role of general practitioners and specialists in supporting people impacted by dementia to access appropriate services.

“As well, the recommendation for better design of aged care accommodation, particularly the development of a set of national aged care design principles and guidelines on accessible and dementia-friendly design for residential aged care is also welcome.

“Overall, these recommendations offer a targeted and effective way forward to ensure the aged care sector can more consistently deliver quality dementia care to the more than 459,000 people living with dementia. 

“We are pleased to see that the voices of people living with dementia, their families and carers have been heard and that Counsel Assisting has responded to their stories by proposing a system that is more appropriate for them.”

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated half a million Australians living with dementia, and the almost 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available, and the Helpline is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit


Media contacts: Sarah Price, National General Manager Communications, 0403 072 140,

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.