Needs Based
Assessment Program

Find out if someone you know or care for is eligible for more support through our Needs Based Assessment (NBA) Program.

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Specialist assessment when
more support is needed

If a person you know or care for needs more support, they may be eligible for the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP). You can learn more about the SDCP here.

You can find out if the program is suitable for you or the person you provide care for through our specialist assessment program.

Who is the NBA for?

Sometimes, the impact of behaviours can need more support than what can be provided in a mainstream care home. The SDCP environment might be an appropriate alternative.

Our NBA program will assess their eligibility and refer the person to a SDCP provider, if they meet the criteria.

nba

How do I access SDCP through the NBA?

The NBA assesses a person’s eligibility for SDCP through:
  • Understanding their social history by speaking to family or guardian, carer and residential care staff.
  • Meeting with the person living with dementia.
  • Working with a DSA medical specialist, usually a geriatrician or psych-geriatrician and other specialist services who have been involved in their care.
  • If the person is eligible, we will help you identify a suitable SDCP provider and share the assessment information with them. You will need to discuss when the person will enter the Specialist Dementia Care Unit and next steps with the selected provider.

NBA Process Step-Through

Step 1Referral

Icons - Light - BSP - Step 1

Step 1: Referral

When a person living with dementia is experiencing severe to very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and are unable to be cared for in a standard residential care setting, carers can refer them to the DSA Needs Based Assessment (NBA). This assesses their eligibility for more support in a Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP).

To be eligible, the behavioural and psychological symptoms of the person should be:

  • Primarily as a result of dementia
  • Severe or very severe, and
  • They have not responded to support from other specialist services.

The person also requires having been assessed as eligible for placement in a residential care home and consent has been sought from the legally appointed person responsible for care.

lihght

Step 2: Triage/Initial review

Upon receipt of the referral, DSA will schedule a phone consultation to understand the changed behaviours and review eligibility for the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP). The initial review will look at:

  • Clinical history.
  • The severity of changed behaviours and their impact on the person and those caring for the person.
  • Prior/current support from other specialist services.
  • Whether consent has been sought from the legally appointed person responsible for care for the onsite assessment to proceed.
needs-based

Step 3: Needs Based Assessment

Following the initial phone consultation a DSA consultant will then schedule a comprehensive face-to-face Needs Based Assessment (NBA) to determine if SDCP is the most appropriate care for the person.

The outcome of the needs-based assessment will be either:

  • A recommendation that the person should be considered for care under the SDCP. In this case, with the person and their carer’s consent, the person’s information will be provided to the SDCP provider for a placement assessment; or
  • A decision that the person should not be considered for care under the SDCP at this time. In this case, the person, carer and referring body will be notified of the decision. Advice will also be provided on alternative care options and assistance provided in accessing other support options through DSA or other specialist services that meet their care needs.
placement

Step 4: Placement Assessment

Applicants eligible for the SDCP are then assessed by the Clinical Advisory Committee to determine their suitability for the SDCP if:

  • The specialist dementia care unit is a ‘good fit’ for the person’s particular needs and behaviour triggers based on the current mix of clients and staffing profile.
  • There are other relevant external factors that might affect the placement.

Once suitability has been confirmed, placement availability is reviewed. If there is a placement available, the SDCP provider will contact the referrer and the applicant will be placed into the support program.

If there are no available placements, the applicant is put on a waitlist and can access ongoing support through DSA or other specialist services. Once a placement becomes available, the applicant will be notified and assisted through placement.

Clients that are not assessed as eligible are provided assistance in accessing other support options either through DSA or other specialist services that meet their care needs.

support

Step 5: Support and Transition

The focus of the SDCP is to support and reduce a person’s behavioural symptoms with the aim of enabling them to transition to a less intensive care setting.

Once placed, the SDCP provides temporary transitional care with:

  • Tailored and personalised approach to care.
  • A care environment specifically designed for a person with dementia.
  • Specialist expertise in supporting a person with dementia.
  • Personalised care to stabilise client behaviours to enable supported transition out of an SDCP.

Following completion of the program transition-out support is critical to the success of the program and ensuring that outcomes achieved during the client’s time in the program are sustained. DSA provides support to SDCPs and receiving mainstream providers to ensure a successful transition. This can include:

  • DSA meeting with the family and care staff at the SDCP to gather information around behaviour triggers and de-escalation strategies. This information can be used to develop a plan to equip carers in the new care setting with skills to support the person’s changed behaviours.
  • DSA visiting the new care environment to support staff in understanding and implementing the specific behavioural plan.
  • Possible funding to support staff from the new care environment to visit the SDCP for information sharing and skills transfer in supporting the person.
  • Possible funding of extra staff for a limited and agreed period during the initial transition to support the person as they settle into their new care environment.
  • Funding of any items that facilitate meaningful engagement for the person.
Icons - Light - BSP - Step 1

Step 1: Referral

When a person living with dementia is experiencing severe to very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and are unable to be cared for in a standard residential care setting, carers can refer them to the DSA Needs Based Assessment (NBA). This assesses their eligibility for more support in a Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP).

To be eligible, the behavioural and psychological symptoms of the person should be:

  • Primarily as a result of dementia
  • Severe or very severe, and
  • They have not responded to support from other specialist services.

The person also requires having been assessed as eligible for placement in a residential care home and consent has been sought from the legally appointed person responsible for care.

lihght

Step 2: Triage/Initial review

Upon receipt of the referral, DSA will schedule a phone consultation to understand the changed behaviours and review eligibility for the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP). The initial review will look at:

  • Clinical history.
  • The severity of changed behaviours and their impact on the person and those caring for the person.
  • Prior/current support from other specialist services.
  • Whether consent has been sought from the legally appointed person responsible for care for the onsite assessment to proceed.
needs-based

Step 3: Needs Based Assessment

Following the initial phone consultation a DSA consultant will then schedule a comprehensive face-to-face Needs Based Assessment (NBA) to determine if SDCP is the most appropriate care for the person.

The outcome of the needs-based assessment will be either:

  • A recommendation that the person should be considered for care under the SDCP. In this case, with the person and their carer’s consent, the person’s information will be provided to the SDCP provider for a placement assessment; or
  • A decision that the person should not be considered for care under the SDCP at this time. In this case, the person, carer and referring body will be notified of the decision. Advice will also be provided on alternative care options and assistance provided in accessing other support options through DSA or other specialist services that meet their care needs.
placement

Step 4: Placement Assessment

Applicants eligible for the SDCP are then assessed by the Clinical Advisory Committee to determine their suitability for the SDCP if:

  • The specialist dementia care unit is a ‘good fit’ for the person’s particular needs and behaviour triggers based on the current mix of clients and staffing profile.
  • There are other relevant external factors that might affect the placement.

Once suitability has been confirmed, placement availability is reviewed. If there is a placement available, the SDCP provider will contact the referrer and the applicant will be placed into the support program.

If there are no available placements, the applicant is put on a waitlist and can access ongoing support through DSA or other specialist services. Once a placement becomes available, the applicant will be notified and assisted through placement.

Clients that are not assessed as eligible are provided assistance in accessing other support options either through DSA or other specialist services that meet their care needs.

support

Step 5: Support and Transition

The focus of the SDCP is to support and reduce a person’s behavioural symptoms with the aim of enabling them to transition to a less intensive care setting.

Once placed, the SDCP provides temporary transitional care with:

  • Tailored and personalised approach to care.
  • A care environment specifically designed for a person with dementia.
  • Specialist expertise in supporting a person with dementia.
  • Personalised care to stabilise client behaviours to enable supported transition out of an SDCP.

Following completion of the program transition-out support is critical to the success of the program and ensuring that outcomes achieved during the client’s time in the program are sustained. DSA provides support to SDCPs and receiving mainstream providers to ensure a successful transition. This can include:

  • DSA meeting with the family and care staff at the SDCP to gather information around behaviour triggers and de-escalation strategies. This information can be used to develop a plan to equip carers in the new care setting with skills to support the person’s changed behaviours.
  • DSA visiting the new care environment to support staff in understanding and implementing the specific behavioural plan.
  • Possible funding to support staff from the new care environment to visit the SDCP for information sharing and skills transfer in supporting the person.
  • Possible funding of extra staff for a limited and agreed period during the initial transition to support the person as they settle into their new care environment.
  • Funding of any items that facilitate meaningful engagement for the person.

Giving Consent

It’s important to keep the person living with dementia informed and involved in decisions that affect their care. At DSA, we make this a priority. We can only start the assessment process once we have written consent from the person being assessed or the legally appointed person responsible for their care.

By signing the form you agree to (or have the person in your care) be assessed for the SDCP program in your state. You can cancel the assessment at any time

Which regions offer the SDCP?

SDCP is a national program – so you can access any of the providers from anywhere in Australia. These are the current facilities accepting referrals.

STATE

PROVIDER

NSW

HammondCare Cardiff – Hunter New England & Central Coast, NSW

QLD

Alzheimer’s Assoc. QLD Garden City – Brisbane South, QLD

Corp. of the Synod of Brisbane, St Martin’s Nursing Home, QLD

Good Shepherd Lodge Ltd, Good Shepherd Lodge, Mackay, QLD

WA

Brightwater The Village – Perth, WA

ACT

Uniting Church in Australia, Uniting Eabrai, Weston, ACT

VIC

HammondCare Caulfield – South Eastern Melbourne, VIC

Wintringham, McLean Lodge Hostel, Flemington, VIC

Villa Maria Catholic Homes, St Bernadette’s Residential Aged Care Facility, Sunshine North, VIC

SA

Uniting Communities Aldersgate – Adelaide, SA

More locations are coming in 2022 and we will update this list as they come on line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our experienced consultants will assess the person, their background, experiences and needs and advise you on which services will best support them and their carers.

NBA is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and is a free service.'

In our assessment process it is important for us to gather all the relevant information to help inform decisions around eligibility. To do this, we need to know more about the person living with dementia, their previous residential arrangements and what has been trialled in the past. We need your help to provide the most suitable plans for support.

Our teams will work with you to identify the best supports available. This may be other DSA services or other acute or older mental health services.

Our role at DSA is to assess for eligibility. We then present that outcome to your nominated SDCP service. It is their decision to place someone in their care home. This will depend on a range of factors such as the number of people they are currently supporting. Our consultants can talk to you more about this.

You can appeal the outcome of an assessment by lodging an appeal with the NBA assessor. The Head of Clinical Services (or their delegate) will review the appeal and determine if the assessor’s findings are valid or should be overturned – and will present their findings to the General Manager, DSA. You will receive a letter with the outcome within 7 days of your appeal.

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, we will discuss next steps with you or refer you to the Department of Health.

To find out more about the appeal process, contact us on 1800 699 799.

How to get started

If you know or care for someone with dementia who is experiencing behavioural changes, simply call our 24-hour helpline on 1800 699 799, fill out the referral form or chat with us now. Our experienced consultants will be able to determine whether NBA is suitable.