Dementia Australia has welcomed an announcement by the federal government to invest $12.4 million in a Grief and Trauma Response Package.
This will help to ensure support is available for those affected by Covid-19 across the aged care sector.
The package includes access to training for aged care staff in trauma-informed care, including advice on self-care, and post-Covid-19 support for aged care residents living with dementia and those experiencing adverse physical, social and psychological impacts.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says this year’s unprecedented social distancing measures and restrictions due to Covid-19 have had significant and unintended consequences on people living with dementia, their families and carers.
“The mental health of people living with dementia is being impacted, along with a decline in cognitive functioning for many, as a result of changes to routine, lack of mental stimulation and social isolation,” Ms McCabe says.
“There is also a subsequent flow-on impact for carers and Dementia Australia has experienced an increase in demand for support as a result.
“With more than two-thirds of people in residential aged care living with dementia, the needs of all people living with dementia must be a priority in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.”
She says the provision of allied health and mental health services to people living in residential aged care is absolutely vital.
“A lack of access to services and social interaction has contributed to the rate of cognitive decline. This has been found in research as well as through feedback from people living with dementia, families and carers,” Ms McCabe says.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the federal government to ensure appropriate support and services are provided to those impacted by dementia.”