If you or your loved one is living with dementia, there is a lot of support available to you.

In Australia, there are almost 30,000 people living with younger onset dementia (people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s) and this is likely to increase.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a broad term that is used to describe a range of diseases that cause a decline in cognitive functioning. One of the most common descriptions is that it is a condition that causes memory loss.

For more detail on the causes, symptoms and treatment of dementia, read our article, What is Dementia?

Does the NDIS provide support for people living with dementia?

People with early-onset dementia (people aged under 65 years old who develop dementia) are not automatically accepted to the NDIS. In order to access the scheme,  a person needs to provide specialist reports proving that the condition impacts their functioning substantially and it is permanent, as well as outline past and future treatments and prognosis.

In order to receive NDIS funded supports, a person will need to satisfy the entry criteria including age and disability. The age restriction to the National Disability Insurance Scheme means a person must apply for entry prior to turning 65 years of age.

After the age of 65, people who are living with dementia can apply for support through My Aged Care.

What will the NDIS pay for?

It is important to note that the NDIS will not pay for health or medical related supports. The scheme will only fund supports which help the participant manage ongoing functional impairment that results from their disability.

The supports likely to be funded by the NDIS, are the ones associated to achieving goals, for example: Daily life, Living arrangements, Relationships, Health and wellbeing, Learning, Work, Social and community activities and Choice and control.

Specific NDIS supports might include:

  • Support through the application process to obtain and complete the NDIS Access Request Form.
  • Preparation for a planning meeting with the NDIA planner.
  • Support coordination and plan implementation to help connect with specialist and mainstream services.
  • Building the capacity and understanding of service providers who will be working with the participant.
  • Provision of or assistance with Daily Living tasks including self-care such as eating, dressing, showering and toileting.
  • Therapeutic supports such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy or Physiotherapy to assist with strategies to undertake activities independently and safely where possible, or maintain or manage functioning and decline.
  • Assistive equipment including daily living aids such as bed rails, shower chair, GPS devices, and so forth.
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation including social support, getting out and about, accessing appointments, as well as respite for carers.
  • Support and training for carers and family, peer support groups, behaviour management strategies, and individual employment support.

Applying for the NDIS

If you’re just starting out, you’ll need to contact the National Disability Insurance Agency to begin the application process.

The application process can be time-consuming and really confusing. To ensure you’re ready and complete your application well, have a look at our top 5 tips to successfully apply for the NDIS.

Already have an NDIS Plan?

If you or your loved one already has an NDIS Plan, well done! You can now access a fantastic range of supports and services that will help you to remain independent and involved in the community.