Two new resources aimed at improving the delivery and navigation of respite services for people living with dementia are now available.

The resources created by Alzheimer’s Australia, in partnership with the University of Wollongong and Carers Australia, aim to promote best practice strategies for respite service providers and to assist people with dementia and their carers to navigate the system.

The Flexible Respite Services for People with Dementia and their Carers resources suggest a new approach to respite care is needed to meet the individual needs and goals of clients and carers and to lift the overall quality of services.

Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the resources would help support best practice in respite care for people with dementia and their carers.

“As both the aged care and disability sectors move to consumer-directed and individualised funding models, it is vital that respite services ensure they are flexible and responsive to the needs of people living with dementia, their families and carers,” she said.

The booklet for providers identifies the key features of flexible respite services, such as staff continuity and appropriate activities, and provides a checklist for providers to assess the flexibility of their services.

The resource also shares examples of good practice from around Australia, including a 24-hour live-in dementia-specific respite service and mobile services, as well as consumer case studies.

Ms McCabe said it was important that people living with dementia have access to quality respite services that provide opportunities for both social contact as well as physical activity and emotional stimulation.

Project leader of ReThink Respite Dr Lyn Phillipson from the University of Wollongong said the resources will help carers access information to better understand and navigate the system.

The new resources are available for free on Alzheimer’s Australia’s website and were developed with funding from an Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant from the Federal Government.

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