National Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program
The National Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program provides individualised information and support to improve the quality of life for people with younger onset dementia.
This program expands on the National Dementia Support Program and is being funded by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing under the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package.
The younger onset dementia key worker acts as a primary point of contact for people with younger onset dementia, their families and carers. The key worker provides information, support, counselling, advice and helps consumers effectively engage with services appropriate to their individual needs.
This program ensures that the needs of people with younger onset dementia are being met in the community by increasing awareness and education, building capacity in the disability, aged care, community and residential care sectors and improving coordination of services across agencies. Key Workers identify and address gaps in services and build capacity through consultation, networking and collaboration with service providers and consumers.
To be eligible for the program, a person must be under the age of 65 when they first make contact with the service or enter the program. This applies to a person who has been diagnosed with younger onset dementia (all forms of), or a person with symptoms of dementia that have not yet been diagnosed.
Where a person has symptoms of dementia but has not been diagnosed, a Key Worker can assist the person in obtaining a diagnosis. People with Mild Cognitive Impairment are also eligible for the Program.
What to expect from the program
People with younger onset dementia, their carers, families and friends can expect to receive consumer directed, person centred support from their key worker. Key workers will work with consumers to develop an individualised set of goals and a practical plan to achieve those goals. Key workers will provide information on the services available to people with younger onset dementia and empower consumers to make decisions regarding their own life and care.
Service providers, health professionals and support organisations across the community, health and residential care sectors can expect key worker building capacity services. Key workers will provide education on younger onset dementia to sector staff, assist organisations to modify their services to better meet the needs of people with younger onset dementia and facilitate collaborative care between services.
How to access key worker services
The best way to access the Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program is to call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.