Getting to know about services and getting them in place for you and the person you support is an important part of moving forward to prepare for the future. However, many people are reluctant to think about services soon after diagnosis. Some people feel that they are not ready, others feel that services are just for people who can’t manage. Some are worried about cost or how the person they support will react to having services.
Be aware that there are many different types of services and supports. After diagnosis, finding and making use of services that will support the person with dementia to improve their function and independence are key. It is also important to start to understand other services that provide support for home or personal care, register for them or “get on their waiting list”, so you know where to turn to if things change or you suddenly find you need practical or emotional support.
Dementia support services in Australia
Some key points about services in Australia are:
- The system is hard to navigate and is not very user friendly. We give you an overview on the next page 5.5 Types of Services that should make understanding and navigation a little easier.
- There can be a very long wait (in some cases a year and more) between applying for certain services and receiving them.
- Services are meant to be ‘consumer directed’. This means that the person receiving the services (or their carer) have a say in what type of help they get, who gives that help, and how and when they get that help.
- Service provider organisations vary in the quality of services they provide.
- You can change service providers any time you want.
- Many staff delivering services have had minimal dementia training.
- For some services you pay a contribution to the costs, with the government contributing the rest.