Dementia checklist- Close up black and white photo of an older lady smiling

Dementia care checklist

This checklist provides information on dementia, how to get help, and things to consider when checking out dementia care options.

STEP 1: Understanding the signs

Dementia isn’t one thing, it’s made up of a range of health conditions that are brought on by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms to look out for include:

▢ frequent confusion and disorientation

▢ progressive loss of memory

▢ noticeable changes in personality

▢ heightened aggression or apathy that is out of the norm

▢ loss of appetite and dramatic weight-loss

▢ accidents that come from disorientation

▢ social isolation and withdrawal

▢ the inability to perform everyday tasks.

STEP 2: Get help

▢ Consult a doctor. Remember, dementia can only be diagnosed by a medical professional and the earlier it is diagnosed the sooner your loved one can receive care.

STEP 3: Consult with family

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, talk to your family about:

▢ the level of care needed

▢ what are the care options?

▢ will family members be providing care?

▢ have finances been figured out?

▢ who will manage the process?

STEP 4: Decide your care options

As you discuss care options, you will need to determine what level of care they require. Is it:

▢ home and community care to help with low level of high-level home tasks

▢ respite care in a facility or nursing home so you or a carer can take a break

▢ nursing home and assisted living care for higher-level or acute care

STEP 5: Create a care summary and find a care option

▢ create a care summary on the DailyCare website

▢ tell us what you’re looking for so that we can really understand the level of care you need

▢ be matched with a list of options, both public and private

▢ get assessed for government-subsidised options

STEP 6: Get assessed

To receive government-funded dementia care services, you will need to:

▢ Start by contacting My Aged Care (Federal Government) to discuss your situation and find out if you will need to contact an Assessment Team.

▢ book a visit from an aged care assessment team if required

▢ discuss your needs with the assessment team

▢ Review your care summary to make sure it includes dementia care options along with any other care needs recommended by the aged care assessment team


STEP 7: For home carers

If you or a loved one have decided to become a full-time carer, first determine:

▢ are you physically up for the job, can you handle the manual tasks?

▢ do you have the time and finances to look properly after your loved one?

▢ are you emotionally equipped to deal with the symptoms of dementia?

▢ have you prepared your family for this change in routine?

▢ can you provide the best and highest level of care that your loved one needs?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of these then:

▢ check out our section on home & community care and respite care

▢ consult with Centrelink on carer payment options that may also be available.

STEP 7: Touring a nursing home

When you visit a nursing home, things to look out for, include:

▢ do they specialise in dementia care?

▢ is it a nice and friendly environment?

▢ are the staff attentive, proactive and well qualified?

▢ are the rooms clean and comfortable?

▢ will the room suit personal and dementia health needs?

▢ do they have appropriate security set up?

▢ do they actively engaged residents with an interesting social calendar?

▢ do they provide a regular, nutritious and appropriate food menu?

▢ do they provide regular exercise and outdoor activities?

▢ is the home properly fitted out and easy to get around?

▢ what are the out-of-pocket costs?

Helpful dementia resources

Here are some useful resources on dementia, including:

Dementia Australia

Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services

Your Brain Matters