How to get help

Services Summary

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Who we are

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is a society committed to the prevention of dementia. We provide counselling, information and support to people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends.

  • We have 12 offices throughout regional Victoria and the metropolitan area.
  • There are a range of services available to support people living with all types of dementia which include:
    • Confidential counselling (online and face-to-face);
    • Younger Onset Dementia specific services;
    • Family information sessions;
    • Memory Lane Cafes;
    • Living with Dementia groups; and
    • National Dementia Helpline.
  • Our team of dementia specialists provide information, support, education and counselling at every stage of the disease from pre-diagnosis, throughout the condition and during bereavement.
  • Our inclusive services have been specifically designed to meet the needs of the whole community, regardless of age, cultural background or health condition.
  • Services cater to individuals, couples, families and groups.
  • We can also arrange access to the many external service providers throughout Victoria.
  • Services can be accessed in a variety of ways – online, face-to-face or by telephone, depending on the needs and particular situation of each individual

To find out more about how Alzheimer’s Australia Vic can support you click here to view or download our Dementia Services Guide.

You can also visit our website for more information about the services we provide.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is committed to supporting people with dementia and their family and friends for the duration of the condition. Please contact us for counselling, information and support at any stage of the course of the disease, including prior to a diagnosis.

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Alzheimer’s Australia Help Sheets

What they are

Help Sheets provide advice, common sense approaches and practical strategies on the issues most commonly raised about dementia and they cover the following topics:

  • About dementia – including diagnosis, early planning, next steps, drug treatments, memory changes, types of dementia
  • Changed behaviours and dementia – including depression, wandering, sundowning, aggressive behaviours, hallucinations
  • Looking after families and carers – including taking a break, taking care of yourself, feelings, men and caring
  • Caring for someone with dementia – including communication, driving, travelling, respite, pain, eating, nutrition, dressing, sexual issues
  • Residential care and dementia – including deciding on residential care, good care in a residential facility, coping with placement
  • Information for people with dementia – including early planning, driving, living alone, feelings and adjusting to change
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – diagnosing dementia, information for family and friends, memory changes
  • Lewy body disease – including cognitive changes, neuropsychiatric changes, motor changes, autonomic changes
  • Younger onset dementia – including planning ahead, decision making capacity, employment, health, wellbeing and lifestyle
  • Tips to assist social engagement – friends, visiting, holidays, art at home, music at home
  • Dementia Q&A – drug treatments, mental exercise, what you eat and drink, physical exercise, genetics, pain
  • Other information – Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

helpsheets
Click here to access the Help Sheets as PDF files which you can read, download, and print.

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Diagnosis

Who they are
What they do
When to contact
General Practitioner (GP) Medical doctor
  • Medical check up and rule out other possible causes of symptoms
  • Referral to private specialist (geriatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist) or Public Specialist service, e.g. CDAMS
  • Ongoing monitoring of health and treatment for dementia
If there are changes in the way a person remembers information, functions, manages ordinary day-to-day tasks or their symptoms of dementia appear to be getting worse such as when driving, mobility or safety.
Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) Services are located across Melbourne and in regional centres. Call national Dementia Helpline or visit the website and download a CDAMS brochure

Diagnostic service for people concerned about their thinking and memory. You can get a referral from GP or contact your local CDAMS directly

  • Specialist diagnostic clinic and treatment service
  • Information and links to other services

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Assessment for Support and Services

Who they are
What they do
When to contact
Aged Care Assessment Service / Team (ACAS) Services are located across Melbourne and in regional centres. If person with dementia is aged under 65 ACAS has a relationship with Disability Services to ensure the person’s needs are met.
Phone: 1800 200 422 to get assistance to find your local ACAS or www.myagedcare.gov.au/eligibility-and-assessment/acat-assessments

Assessment service to determine level of care or support required. You must have an ACAS assessment to access residential respite, permanent residential care and home based packages of services.

  • Determine what assistance the person with dementia and the carer need to stay at home such as: In home support / Respite either in home or in respite facility & Activity Groups
  • Referral to home care service providers in your local area
Sooner rather than later and when local services you are using are not enough. It may take time to gain an assessment and there is often a waiting list to receive a “package of care” to help the carer and the person with dementia stay at home longer.

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Support at Home

Who they are
What they do
When to contact
Consumer Directed Care Home Care Packages
Variety of providers to choose from.
For On-line Information
http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-services/home-care-packages

You will have a budget allocated to buy the services you need.There are four levels of Home Care Packages which are designed to give you the assistance you need:

Level 1 supports people with basic care needs;

Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs

Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs

Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs

See ‘Your Guide to New Choices in Home Care’ (COTA)

As soon as you have an ACAS assessment report as there may be a waitlist for packages.

Services will vary according to your package level and budget.

Council Services – Home and Community Care (HACC)

Phone: Contact your local council

Council services are usually means tested. They include:

  • Home Help (cleaning)
  • Transport
  • Meals
  • Social support
  • Home Maintenance
  • In-home respite
  • Personal Care (eg showering the person with dementia)
  • Activity programs for people with dementia

Getting help with practical things may relieve the emotional pressure of caring for someone with dementia.

It won’t hurt to find out what help is available.

National Respite for Carers Program

Phone: 1800 052 222

The call will be answered by the Centre in your region.

Or visit website to look up providers in your local area:

www.myagedcare.gov.au/service-finders#block-finder-community-care-finder-communitycare

The NRCP provides access to a variety of respite services. As well as helping you, the NRCP can also help the person you care for by providing extra social opportunities.

The NRCP services may take place in:

  • the home of the person you care for
  • a community centre
  • the home of a friend or family member
  • an aged care facility.
  • Emergency Respite – Out of Hours 1800 059 059

When you need a break through short-term respite, or emergency respite.

Get in touch early, so if an emergency comes up, you will have help at hand.

Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS)

Phone: 1800 699 799

24 hour telephone advice service for carers managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
In regional areas and some metropolitan areas, face to face behaviour management support.
When a behaviour caused by dementia is impacting quality of life of the person with dementia and people who live and work with.

National Continence Helpline

Phone: 1800 330 066

  • Information about toileting and continence
  • Where to get help, continence product suppliers and product funding schemes
When changes in continence habits occur and you are experiencing difficulty in managing these.

Carers Victoria Phone: 1800 242 636

  • Short term counselling for carers
  • Carer advice and information
  • Links to support groups
When a carer needs someone outside the family or friends to talk over what is going on and to explore ways of coping better.

Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)

Phone: 1300 309 337

Provides advice and information about the rights of people with disability or mental illness, powers of attorney, guardianship and administration and medical decision-making.

Useful source of advice when there is conflict or confusion about setting up enduring powers of attorney, applying for guardianship or administration, and abuse of those powers.

Can refer to advocacy organisations or provide advocacy where there are no other services available.

If the person with dementia has not completed enduring powers of attorney and you are uncertain about making financial, personal or legal decisions.If you want to report abuse of a person with disability or mental illness living in a group home, supported residential services or receiving treatment in public mental health services.

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Download Services Summary PDF

Helpline information

Contact National Dementia Helpline
1800 100 500

For language assistance call 131 450 Interpreter help

The Helpline is for people with dementia, their carers, families and friends, as well as people concerned about memory loss.
It is available between 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday excluding national public holidays.

If life is in danger call 000
For crisis support and suicide prevention call
Lifeline 13 11 14