Behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia

 Behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) refer to a range of non-cognitive symptoms common among people with dementia. BPSD can have a significant impact on quality of life, health outcomes and caring needs of people with dementia. Information on BPSD in Australia enables better policy and service planning for supporting people with BPSD and their carers. 

The following pages present statistics and information on:

These pages also present the current data landscape for reporting on BPSD in Australia and ways this may be improved in the future.

Data are presented on people with BPSD who accessed behaviour support programs delivered by Dementia Support Australia, as well as data from the National Screening and Assessment Form for people accessing government subsidised aged care services. Refer to the Behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia data tables for the underlying data presented in these pages.

See Aged care and support services used by people with dementia for more information on available support services, including aged care assessments and Dementia Support Australia.

Key statistics

525 referrals were assessed under the Needs Based Assessment program for very severe BPSD care between September 2019 and June 2022
Agitation was the most recorded primary behaviour among Dementia Support Australia assessments completed between 2021–2022
Insomnia was the most frequently reported symptom among people with dementia who completed a comprehensive aged care assessment in 2020–21
People with dementia were over twice as likely to report 3 or more behaviours in their aged care assessments than people without dementia