New dementia care program launches

Barwon Health chief Frances Diver, HammondCare Dementia Centre's Miranda Gretgrix, Blakiston Lodge site manager Roz Nolan, Department of Health and Aged Care's Shane Thomas and Lara MP Ella George. (Jono Pech)

Barwon Health will now offer specialised residential care as part of a new aged care dementia service.

The new service at Blakiston Lodge at the McKellar Centre in North Geelong, which launched on Friday, May 10.

Funded through the federal government’s Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP), the program has nine beds dedicated to transitional care.

People with very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia will be able to receive tailored, specialised care at Blakiston Lodge for up to 12 months.

The aim of the program is to reduce or stabilise symptoms so people can transition back to their usual residence.

The service is the first public SDCP, the first of its kind in regional Victoria and one of only 10 across Australia.

Blakiston Lodge facility manager Roz Nolan said severe dementia didn’t have to lead to isolation.

“Like any chronic illness, we want to see people achieve the best possible outcomes,” Ms Nolan said.

“The specialised care Barwon Health is now offering will improve quality of life for people living with dementia who find mainstream aged care difficult.

“Our specialist team can care for residents in a conducive home-like environment that will support their transition, both in and out of this new facility over a period that can take between three and 12 months.

“We are committed to collaborating with Dementia Support Australia to ensure comprehensive support for individuals living with severe dementia.”