Why Quality Dementia Care Matters
Quality dementia care needs to become an intrinsic, core element of aged care in Australia. We acknowledge the range of reform activity now occurring in the aged care sector and the impetus of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, but note that Dementia Australia’s focus on quality dementia care began back in 2018, with an exploration of what quality looked and felt like for people living with dementia, their families and carers. We were clear that it is only by articulating clearly what defines and differentiates quality dementia care that we can provide clear and measurable expectations and we tested a number of metrics with people with a lived experience.
The resulting Quality Dementia Care Action Plan is a cross-sector commitment to those initiatives we believe will collectively improve quality care for people living with dementia, their families and carers. By bringing together the most significant influencers of quality care – and drivers of policy and program change – we are taking a collective view of some key activities we and others are undertaking to improve quality dementia care.
Quality Dementia Care: Key Focus Areas
The key focus areas have been informed by consumers, as articulated in Our Solution: Quality care for people living with dementia and refined further in our Roadmap for quality dementia care. It is through the implementation of effective partnerships and the translation of key themes into measurable practices – all of which will be checked with consumers and the workforce on the ground - that makes this action plan truly embedded in consumer experiences of quality.
We are in the process of developing an annual report card which will not only measure progress against the individual initiatives by each key partner, but also measure the impact of collective transformational change in the aged care sector.
Change takes time. By taking a global view of quality dementia care as articulated by people living with dementia, we expect that activity may not immediately translate into impact. We do know that if we consistently and collectively strive toward the key focus areas as articulated by consumers, experiences of quality care will be improved over time.
We will engage with consumers with dementia and the workforce on the ground to test if what we are doing as a collective is making a difference to improving quality dementia care in practice.