Key messages

  • Dementia is a disease that can affect memory, language, rational thinking, social skills, behaviour, emotion, the senses and personality.
  • Programs and services to support Victorians with dementia and their carers offer home help, respite, social opportunities, information and counselling.
  • These programs and services seek to support people’s health, wellbeing and independence for as long as possible.

Help for Victorians with dementia and their carers

Dementia is a progressive disease that can affect a person’s memory, thinking, orientation and comprehension, combined with deteriorating senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing). It can cause huge changes in a person’s life and in the lives of those around them.

The Department of Health & Human Services funds services to support people with dementia, their families and carers with:

  • activities of daily living such as help with daily domestic tasks
  • respite and other support for carers
  • social opportunities
  • information and counselling.

Dementia services support

Dementia Australia has counselling, information, education, training and referral services.

Dementia friendly environments: a guide for residential aged care services has tips and hints about how to change physical environments (residential services, people’s homes, respite services and hospitals) to better support people with dementia. The department also provides an online resource, Dementia-friendly environments.

Home and Community Care educates and trains service providers who work with people with dementia. It also funds café style support services. Café style support services offer social support to a person and their carer at the same time, in the same place, in a community-based setting and positive social environment such as a café or similar community venue. The Home and Community Care Program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.

The Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) is a specialist multidisciplinary diagnosis referral and education service for people with memory loss or changes to thinking, and those who care about them. CDAMS clinics are located at health services in Victoria. General practitioners and community agencies can refer someone to CDAMS, or people can self-refer directly to CDAMS. 

Aged persons mental health services help older people with behavioural disturbance linked with organic disorders such as dementia. They are also for people over 65 years of age with illnesses such as depression and psychosis, or a long-standing mental illness. There are statewide, metropolitan and rural services.

Better Health Channel provides health and medical information that is reliable, up to date, easy to understand, regularly reviewed and locally relevant.

Dementia Australia 

Family information and support
98-104 Riversdale Road
Hawthorn, Vic, 3122

Learning services
155 Oak Street
Parkville, Vic, 3052

Postal address (both offices)
Locked Bag 3001
Hawthorn VIC 3122

Phone: (03) 9815 7800
Fax: (03) 9815 7801
Email: helpline.nat@dementia.org.au

Support for Carers Program

The Support for Carers Program supports carers of older people, older carers and carers of younger people with dementia. Using person-centred care and support, the Support for Carers Program seeks to:

  • meet short term higher level needs
  • provide short term top up services not available in the rest of the service system
  • offer innovative, flexible, timely and cost effective respite or other supports, goods and services.

The Support for Carers Program guidelines list the service providers, including service providers for carers of people with dementia. Contact your closest regional office to find out about local Support for Carers service providers.