A dementia-friendly design focus as part of the South Australian Repatriation General Hospital revitalisation has been welcomed by national peak body Dementia Australia.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said it was excellent to see the South Australian government commit to embedding environmentally supportive design elements for people living with dementia in the planning.
“There is evidence showing that physical design that promotes independence can have a profound and positive impact on people living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“A well designed environment can help maintain abilities, reduce risks and provide meaningful engagement by providing essential prompts and accessibility to support a person with dementia.
“Investing in dementia specific training for all staff involved in the care of the residents is also an essential element to ensure people living with dementia are well supported both in the community and in residential care.
“Today, more than 52 per cent of all aged care residents have a diagnosis have dementia, many are undiagnosed and others will develop dementia while in care.
“This is why it is crucial to have appropriate and early consultation on planning and design and to plan for the right skills mix and staffing levels.”
In 2019, more than 37,500 South Australians are estimated to be living with dementia, with that number expected to rise to almost 75,000 by 2058.
“As the prevalence of dementia grows, so too does the need for well-considered built physical environments,” Ms McCabe said.
“I congratulate the South Australian Government on their commitment to dementia-friendly care on the Repat Hospital Site.”