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Needs Based Assessment: Understanding eligibility and access for the Specialist Dementia Care Program

Friday 3 April, 2020

An old man in a hat and a middle aged woman having a conversation outdoors

Complementing DBMAS and SBRT services is the new Needs Based Assessment (NBA) service.  This service provides nationally consistent assessment for eligibility into the Specialist Dementia Care Program.

The Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) is a new government initiative that provides specialist accommodation, care and support for those people where behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia are unable to be managed in the standard residential care setting. The SDCP offers temporary, transitional care to stabilise and reduce a person’s behavioural symptoms with the aim of enabling them to transition to a less intensive care setting.

The booklet provides background on NBA and SDCP and outlines important information for aged care providers on eligibility requirements of a person with dementia and how NBA assesses for entry into a SDCP.

There are three key principles for eligibility.

The behaviours and psychological symptoms of the person:

1. are primarily as a result of dementia

2. are severe or very severe

3. did not respond after adequate trials of other specialist services

You can review for eligibility assessment in the same way as referring into any DSA program – either call us 24/7 on 1800 699 799 or online at

A range of DSA resources including training videos, testimonials be found on our website at

For information on SDCP locations or to learn more about the SDCP program, please visit the Commonwealth Department of Health website at

If you have any questions about the Needs Based Assessment program, you can email us at

Download Booklet Here