Ballarat Health Services to lose $250,000 in dementia funding

BALLARAT Health Services will lose $250,000 annually in dementia-specific funding.

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The Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement funding, which helps aged-care organisations ensure dementia patients receive the best possible care, will cease from July 31.

It is also used for dementia-specific staff education, lifestyle programs and diversional therapy.

BHS spokesman Daniel Anderson said the funding cut would impact on the “financial viability of its residential aged-care services”.

“The Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement funding is for the purpose of providing additional financial assistance in recognition of the additional costs associated with caring for people with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and other conditions,” Mr Anderson said. 

“As a result of the cessation of this program, BHS will incur a reduction of funding of around $250,000 per annum.”

Australia’s largest peak body for age services, Leading Age Services Australia, said it was a “huge blow” for those living with the most severe and debilitating dementia symptoms.

LASA chief executive officer Patrick Reid said the supplement’s loss had been made without industry consultation.

“Does the minister and department believe that the severe symptoms of residents with dementia will stop with the cessation of the supplement?” Mr Reid said.

“The removal of this funding will cause clients, families and staff dealing with severe dementia unnecessary angst and distress.”

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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