What are the key goals/ aims of the dementia policy/plan? | New Zealand What are the key goals/ aims of the dementia policy/plan? | New Zealand

15 Sep 2022

NZ dementia framework:

Goal: “The NZ dementia framework aims to help people with dementia and their families and whānau to maximise their independence and wellbeing by reducing stigmas and providing clear, comprehensive information, and an integrated, holistic approach to dementia care and support.”

To this end, it provides a guide that district health boards (DHBs) can use as they work with primary, secondary, and community health and social support services (including social, information, emergency, and housing) to develop clear, consistent, well-resourced and easily accessible dementia care pathways. The framework promotes national consistency in dementia care while allowing for flexibility to adapt to local priorities and encourage innovation. DHBs are already developing their own service models and pathways for dementia care, and this framework is deliberately non-prescriptive so that the DHBs will be able to use it in different ways to achieve the same ends. The framework lists good practice examples that DHBs and the health sector can refer to, but the list of examples is a guide only and is by no means comprehensive. Furthermore, the framework highlights some goals that may take time to achieve. It is anticipated that steady progress can be made towards these goals with the aim of significantly improving dementia health and support services within five years.”

It outlines 3 overarching principles:

  1. Following a person-centred and people-directed approach;
  2. Providing accessible, proactive, and integrated services that are flexible to meet a variety of needs;
  3. Developing the highest possible standard of care.

Dementia action plan:

Goal: “To improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia while decreasing the impact of dementia on them, as well as on Aotearoa New Zealand communities, on the health system, and on the economy.”

The Plan is underpinned by seven interlinked principles:

  1. Wellbeing focussed and person-centred – people living with dementia, their whānau/families and care partners are empowered to be at the forefront of decision-making about their care and support, so they thrive; living with autonomy, meaning and dignity; participating in and contributing to their families and communities for as long as possible,
  2. Human rights – people living with dementia are citizens, whose lives matters and have the same human rights as everyone else, including those in the Convention on the Rights Persons with a Disability,
  3. Acknowledges Te Ao Māori and the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi –a kaupapa Māori approach underpins the design, development and delivery of solutions and programmes that will work in Aotearoa New Zealand for Māori whanau,
  4. Comprehensive and integrated – services cover the whole life-course of dementia from developing dementia to end of life, with all parts of the sector working together to support people living with dementia and to implement the plan,
  5. Equity – people living with dementia have access to appropriate services that deliver high-quality health and wellness outcomes so they can reach their full potential whoever they are, whatever their circumstances, and wherever they live in Aotearoa New Zealand,
  6. Evidence-based and consistent – services are grounded in evidence and best practice, incorporating person-centred care with health care, to deliver solutions that are nationally consistent, effective, sustainable, and affordable,
  7. Specific populations – services, solutions and resources recognise and respond appropriately to the unique needs of the special groups within Aotearoa New Zealand’s population. These will include Pacific people, Asian people, the Deaf community, and people who have become hearing impaired, refugees, people living alone, LGBTIQA people, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, people with young-onset dementia, people living with chronic and severe neurological and/or psychiatric conditions, those with addictions, homeless older people and people housed in corrections facilities.