Reablement and rehabilitation for people with dementia are recommended in Clinical Practice Guidelines and in the recent Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care. People living with dementia want access to these interventions, and while there are freely available ‘reablement in dementia’ resources (reablement and rehabilitation are still not routinely offered to people living with dementia.

Greater understanding around how to drive uptake of these evidence-informed and recommended interventions into routine clinical practice is needed.

Dr Claire O’Connor, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychology, UNSW,  Honorary Senior Research Fellow with Neuroscience Research Australia and HammondCare, and Associate Investigator at the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute is leading this body of work that is funded by a Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration Post-doctoral Fellowship.

“The evidence shows that these interventions should be provided to support everyday functioning in people living with dementia, but there is still a huge gap in people actually being able to access these services when they need them” says Dr O’Connor.

“This body of work involves a series of projects that will involve working with real people who are involved in the community aged care sector from across Australia, including people impacted by dementia, allied health professionals, program managers, and policy-makers. We hope that this will ultimately result in a meaningful, sustainable implementation strategy for more accessible reablement and rehabilitation services for people living with dementia across Australia.”

Other researchers on the team include Professor Kaarin Anstey, Professor Chris Poulos, and Professor Sue Kurrle.

The first activity in this planned multi-year body of work is currently underway, with the proceeding project activities planned over 2024-2026.

More information about this implementation project can be found here.