An estimated 50,000 New Zealanders currently have dementia. By 2050, this is expected to have tripled to nearly 150,000. Additional government funding will help to support early diagnosis of dementia and a New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care will guide district health boards (DHBs) on how best to support people with dementia.
The framework encourages key shifts in dementia care, such as putting the individual at the centre of their care and providing easy access to services. One important change is that it supports early diagnosis of dementia so people can make plans and decisions about their own future care. The Ministry of Health and the dementia sector developed the framework in partnership and had input from people with dementia and their families.
New Zealand’s standards for dementia care
There are three standards covering accepted good practice for dementia care in home-care and day programme settings in the community, guidance for residential services for people with dementia, and indicators for safe aged-care and dementia-care for consumers.
SNZ HB 8134.6:2006 Best Practice Guidance for Community Services for People with Dementia and Proposed Audit Workbook
Organisations and support workers in home-care and day programme settings can use this standard voluntarily, to help people diagnosed with dementia, their families, and representatives. It provides guidance material and examples of accepted good practice for dementia care in home-care and day programme settings in the community. The aim is to promote quality care in the community and delay or prevent unnecessary moves into residential care.
SNZ HB 8134.5:2005 Health and Disability Sector Standards – Proposed Audit Workbook and Guidance for Residential Services for People with Dementia
This standard can be used to evaluate the organisation or service outcomes against those required by NZS 8134 Health and Disability Sector Standards. It sets out examples and information to help an organisation to demonstrate compliance with the Health and Disability Sector Standards by meeting the special and unique needs of people with dementia.
SNZ HB 8163:2005 Indicators for safe aged-care and dementia-care for consumers
This standard provides a basis to improve the effectiveness of residential aged-care and dementia-care services. It includes indicators that can be used to monitor and compare the performance of service providers.