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


ADDITIONAL STEPS

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