Royal Commission Series: dementia and palliative care

In its Final Report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety made 148 recommendations for action and improvements in response to the problems it identified in the aged care system. 

We’ve gone through the recommendations in detail, and over the next couple of weeks we will be providing a number of updates on how SPP can help you to get ahead with many of the recommendations. 

Our focus today is around dementia and palliative care. Dementia care is one of the four concerns that were singled out by the Royal Commission as requiring immediate attention:

“It is estimated that more than half of the people living in permanent residential aged care in 2019 had a diagnosis of one of the forms of dementia. The real percentage is likely higher, given the prevalence of undetected dementia.

“Despite this, our inquiry has revealed that the quality of aged care that people living with dementia receive is, at times, abysmal. We heard time and time again that staff members do not have the time or the skills to deliver the care that is needed. The quality of dementia care in the aged care system needs significant and immediate improvement.” 

To address the above identified issue, the Royal Commission has made Recommendation 80: Dementia and palliative care training for workers.

“By 1 July 2022, the Australian Government should implement as a condition of approval of aged care providers, that all workers engaged by providers who are involved in direct contact with people seeking or receiving services in the aged care system undertake regular training about dementia care and palliative care.”

We have several resources that can assist your organisation to get ahead in training workers in dementia and palliative care. 

Towards Best Practice Self-assessment: Dementia Australia’s Quality Care Recommendations (2019)

This self-assessment is available in SPP’s “Aged Care – towards best practice” group, and is based on Dementia Australia’s Quality Care Recommendations, which were developed in consultation with people living with dementia, their families, carers and advocates. 

Working through the self-assessment will assist your organisation to appreciate how it can work to support greater inclusion, respect and ultimately improved quality of life for people living with dementia. In particular, Recommendation 7 of the Quality Care Recommendations “Dementia trained staff” takes you through worker training regarding dementia. 

Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning provides a range of resources, foundation learning modules and consultancy services that can assist providers who wish to access more detailed material or training for their workers. 


In SPP’s Reading Room, you can find Policy: End of Life Care and Palliative Care, which can help your organisation to embed advance care and end of life planning into your delivery of care. The resource addresses recognising end of life, assessing palliative care needs, responding to deterioration, and managing dying and bereavement. 

In addition to this resource, SPP also has these advance care resources:

  • Info: Advance care planning; and
  • Policy: Advance care planning.

We also have some other resources that address supporting clients with dementia, including:

  • Policy: Safety and security in residential aged care facilities
  • Policy: Intimacy and sexuality in aged care
  • Info: Intimacy and sexuality in aged care

You can find these resources by searching for key words in the SPP Reading Room. 

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