Overview of dementia support services and initiatives

While many people with dementia are able to live independently and rely on family and friends for assistance, there are a range of dementia-specific services available for those in need of support, as well as for their carers, friends and family. Support services and initiatives for dementia in Australia are provided by the Australian Government, state governments and non-governmental organisations. Services vary in scope and aim, and can address a range of challenges faced by people with dementia, and their friends, families and carers. Unless otherwise specified, data and program information on this page are sourced directly through personal correspondence with Dementia Australia and Dementia Support Australia.

Refer to the Dementia support services data tables for the underlying data presented in these pages. 

What dementia-specific support services are available?

The Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund held by the Australian Government provides funding for multiple dementia-related services and initiatives. The overarching aim of the fund is to improve awareness and understanding of dementia and support people experiencing changed behaviours due to their dementia, and support care-givers. Funding is offered to national ongoing programs, as well through one-off competitive grants available to aged care providers, researchers, peak bodies and advocacy groups. A full list of the grants awarded for projects under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund is available at the Australian Government's grants information system.

Non-governmental organisations such as Dementia Australia and HammondCare provide management of the delivery of the national, ongoing programs and initiatives supported by the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund. These include:

  • National Dementia Support Program—an Australian Government initiative delivered by Dementia Australia. The National Dementia Support Program provides information, education programs, services and resources that aim to improve awareness and understanding about dementia, and empower people living with dementia and their carers and families to make informed decisions about the support services they access. Following additional investment announced in the 2021–22 Federal Budget, the Australian Government will provide approximately $24 million per year between 2021–22 and 2024–25 for the National Dementia Support Program.
  • Dementia-Friendly Communities—a program delivered by Dementia Australia that builds understanding, awareness and acceptance of dementia in the community. The Australian Government provided targeted assistance of $3.9 million over 3 years (July 2016 to June 2019) and $3.7 million from December 2019 to June 2022 to Dementia Australia to implement the Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative.
  • Dementia Training Program—a national approach to accredited education, upskilling and professional development in dementia care delivered by Dementia Training Australia. The Australian Government provides approximately $9.3 million annually to Dementia Training Australia to provide the Dementia Training Program.
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service—a mobile workforce provided by Dementia Support Australia (DSA) (led by HammondCare) to support people with mild to moderate behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia, and their carers, with client-focused information, assessment and advice. The Australian Government provided $13 million to DSA to run this service in 2018–19.
  • Severe Behaviour Response Teams—a mobile workforce provided by DSA (led by HammondCare) to support people with severe behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia, and their carers, with client focused information, assessment and advice. The Australian Government provided around $15 million to DSA to run this service in 2018–19.
  • Specialist Dementia Care Program—a tailored program offering temporary, transitional care to people who are experiencing severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and who can no longer be cared for in a mainstream residential aged care facility. The program is being implemented in phases and is expected to cost the Australian Government $70 million annually when fully operational. In 2018–19, $1.3 million was spent on the Specialist Dementia Care Program. Eligibility for the Specialist Dementia Care Program is determined by the Needs Based Assessment program of DSA (led by HammondCare).

Need more information?

If you require more information about services and initiatives for people with dementia, their friends, family and carers refer to: