Latest News

Different medications prescribed for people with dementia

diff medication

Recent data from a study examining patterns of medication use in residential aged care showed ninety eight per cent of residents were prescribed more than five medications and 71% prescribed more than 10.

The paper "Patterns of medication prescription by dementia diagnosis in Australian nursing home residents: a cross-sectional study” published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research examines what medications are more likely to be prescribed to people with dementia.

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No harm in withdrawal of psychotropic medication


A review of the current evidence about withdrawal of psychotic medications for people with dementia in long-term residential aged care has found that it can be achieved without adverse effects for the person with dementia.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has highlighted a culture of over-prescribing of psychotropic medication in residential aged care when treating changed behaviours of a person with dementia. Psychotropic medications have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and falls while providing no increase in functional ability or quality of life.

Published in Drugs and Ageing, the review titled “Approaches to Deprescribing Psychotropic Medications for Changed Behaviours in Long-Term Care Residents Living with Dementia” examines five areas of research.

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If you observe a change, consider pain


Everyone experiences pain at various times in their life, including people with dementia. However, people with dementia are often unable to verbally communicate their pain. Mis-diagnosis and undertreatment of pain is distressing for the person and can result in changes in behaviour and reduced quality of life.

Having trained staff and pain assessment tools to effectively identify and respond to a person’s pain is critical to deliver quality care to people living in residential aged care. This is particularly important as up to 50% of residents in aged care have a diagnosis of dementia.

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Student program improves aged care workforce


A recent study, published in the Journal of Interprofessional Care, estimates a $1.6m societal benefit from the introduction of an interprofessional student education placement program within residential aged care.

Currently, there is much debate about how to build a sustainable aged care workforce for the future. Staff training in aged care, resourcing, and negative perceptions of careers in aged care have been identified as barriers to maintaining a skilled aged care workforce.

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Public involvement in research: a growing movement


Patient and public involvement in research is increasingly recognised as an integral part of the research process. Developing active partnerships between researchers and patients and/or the public requires mutual respect and understanding as well as appropriate resourcing.

The recent “Public Involvement in Health Service Research – International Symposium”, held by the University of Sydney’s, provided an opportunity to hear from a range of disciplines in health research about how they are moving towards a model of public and patient involvement.

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Research Reports

2017 Research Report Summary
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Media releases

Action-needed-to-cut-health-bill-from-too-many-medicines-in-older-people, 1 December 2018
What does quality care mean to Australian aged care residents?, 5 August 18
Benefits of home-like aged care, 7 June 18
Reablement program for dementia wellness, 28 May 18
Counting the true cost of dementia, 23 January 18
New guideline to reduce medications in older Australians with dementia, 6 February 18
Study will look at impact of socialisation robots on wellbeing, 3 February 17
Aged care staff impact the quality of care and lives of residents with dementia, 21 September 16
Optimising medicine use in older Australians, 16 October 15
Overuse of medicines in older Australians:what can we do?, 3 August 15
More work needed to assist people requiring a financial decision-maker and to help protect Australians from the possibility of being financially abused, 17 July 15
Public Consultation-Draft Clinical Practice Guidelines for dementia in Australia, 7 April 15
Improving care for older people with dementia in Gosford Hospital, 11 Aug 14
Improving care for older people with dementia in Lismore Hospital, 25 July 14
Supporting Young People having a parent with Younger Onset Dementia Workshop, 3 Sept 14
Ministerial Media Release. Australian First: $25 million National Centre for Cognitive Decline, 9 Apr 13