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:

▢    Alzheimer's Australia

▢    Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services

▢    Dementia Care Australia

▢    Your Brain Matters

▢    Information about dementia

▢    Dementia research web library

Read: Considerations in Dementia