Dementia village is safe as houses

January 31, 2018

FINDINGS from a report conducted by Flinders University will not impact Heathcote Health’s plans for a specialised dementia village, according to chief executive Dan Douglass.

A feasibility study into the proposed dementia village is currently being conducted after it won support from the state government for a $150,000 contribution.

The village would house 150 patients and employ about 200 staff members.

Flinders University released a report on January 23 and stated that it cost approximately $88,000 a year to provide health and residential care for a person living with dementia.

Dr Suzanne Dyer from the university said this amount of money is the most exact and correct calculation and is well over what had previously been thought.

“Unlike previous evaluations, which have typically calculated costs by adopting an overarching ‘top-down’ perspective on the healthcare system, we have taken a ‘bottom-up’ approach by looking at all the health and residential care costs incurred by a sample of individuals living with dementia,” Dr Dyer said in a media release from the University.

“This has given us a realistic, per person estimate.’’

The study was based on 541 individuals across 17 aged care homes.

On the same day, Dementia Australia released a statement saying that the findings “by Flinders University today, reaffirm Dementia Australia’s call for the urgent need for ongoing, systemic, aged care reform.

“The annual cost of $88,000 to care for a person living with dementia in residential aged care can be reduced by improving the training or our workforce and applying dementia-friendly principles in the community, throughout the aged care sector and in hospitals.”

Mr Douglass said the report didn’t come as a major surprise to him – even though he hadn’t read it yet.

“I haven’t seen those findings as of yet but we at Heathcote Health are well aware that the costs of dementia care are well understated and we have taken into account what these costs are,” Mr Douglass said.

“Our expectation is that our model takes into account these costs and we actually think this just strengthens our argument that something like this dementia village is needed. It is not something that is going to impact us at all.”

Expressions of interest for the feasibility study into the dementia village close today, January 31.

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