Specialist dementia unit trial part of national roll out

PERTH: Specialist dementia units will be rolled out around Australia to the tune of $70 million a year says the Morrison Government.

The scheme will see 35 units established around the country with at least one going into each Primary Health Network area.

A trial-site is currently being set up in Perth, with service provider Brightwater, but won’t be up and running until July.

Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, who will announce the funding today alongside Health Minister Greg Hunt, said the entire program would come in phases.

“A tender process in early 2019 will select up to 15 units to be operational by early 2020, subject to evaluation outcomes, the remaining sites will be selected in 2021,” he said.

“Some of the most vulnerable Australians who live with dementia will benefit from a world-first national network of specialist care units.”

A spokesman from Mr Wyatt’s office said all of the units were expected to be up and running by 2024.

“From this stage the cost of the program will be around $70 million per year,” he said.

“The funds have been allocated over the forward estimates.

“Once operational, it is estimated that each site will receive approximately $1.1 million per year to operate.”

The units will be centred around caring for people who suffer from severe behavioural and psychological symptoms associated with dementia.