Supporting people with dementia in the community: reablement makes a difference

Thursday, June 17, 2021

‘Most people with dementia live in the community and rely on family to provide care that enables them to live healthy and independent lives,’ says Adj Prof Alison Verhoeven, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive. ‘Yet despite this, access to interventions that address the impact of dementia on everyday life is limited.’

An issues brief, Reablement interventions for community dwelling people living with dementia, published today by the AHHA’s Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research examines how reablement interventions in dementia care can be adopted in Australia to support people with dementia to live healthy and independent lives.

‘The 2021 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified a failure to meet the needs of those living with dementia. This is partly due to people with dementia and their carers not being provided with the support they need,’ says report author Dr Miia Rahja, Research Associate, Flinders University and 2021 Jeff Cheverton Memorial Scholar.

‘Under the Government funded Home Care Package program, people with dementia who live in the community are expected to know their own health care needs, choose their own service providers, and inform the provider of their service preferences. However, their capacity to manage and carry out informed choices of care providers on their own may be limited.

‘Reablement aims to maintain an individual’s independence at their place of residence and reduce their need for long-term services.  However, evidence-based reablement interventions for people with dementia are not widely implemented in Australia.

‘Reablement interventions have the potential to equip people with dementia (and their carers) to remain living at home, functionally independent and engaged in their communities

‘Evidence-based interventions can reduce healthcare service use and informal care burden and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Accessible, effective reablement service models should be adopted in the Australian health sector,’ says Dr Rahja.

Reablement interventions for community dwelling people living with dementia is available online. More information on AHHA and the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research is available at This media release is available online.

This Issues Brief was developed with the support of the Jeff Cheverton Memorial Scholarship, a joint initiative of the AHHA, Brisbane North Primary Health Network and North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network


Media enquiries: Dr Miia Rahja, Research Associate, Rehabilitation, Aged and Palliative Care

Flinders University

0412 860 226