Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP)

Alzheimer’s Queensland in Partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health has delivered a purpose-built Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP). The SDCP unit provides a higher level of care for those exhibiting very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and are unable to be effectively cared for by traditional aged care services.

The specialist unit delivers care in a dedicated dementia friendly environment, with a core focus on stabilising and reducing the individual’s symptoms, with an end goal to transition them to a less intensive care setting.

The brand-new Alzheimer’s QLD SDCP unit has been constructed with aesthetics that reflect dementia friendly and dementia enabling design principles to ensure all individuals feel protected, safe and respected within the facility.

All specialists staff working in this unit have been specifically recruited and trained to service resident’s needs.

Philosophy of care and care approach

The SDCP unit is modelled off the highest level of quality care and safety for all individuals using a person-centred and goal orientated philosophy. The SDCP model ensures all residents have access to medical specialists to ensure appropriate clinical oversight and care. Alzheimer’s QLD as an SDCP provider is responsible for directly sourcing and funding allied health services such as psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, dentists, oral hygienists, speech pathologists and any other necessary health professionals required.

How long is care required

Primarily, residents will remain within the SDCP until stabilised and symptoms are reduced, before enabling them to transition to a less intensive care setting. It is expected that the usual length of stay in a specialist dementia care unit will be up to 12 months.

Eligibility for the SDCP unit

The following identifies if an individual is eligible to enter the SDCP:

  • Individuals with very severe BDSP, generally behaviours classified as/ or equivalent to Tier 6 in the Brodaty et. al. model2.
  • Those who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services, but
  • Do not require care more appropriately

Referral pathways

Existing aged care recipients including; Commonwealth Home Support Programme services, home care, flexible care or residential care and people not receiving aged care (i.e. transitioning from hospital or other environments) can be referred for assessment through Dementia Support Australia at: www.dementia.com.au or 1800 699 799

Security of tenure for the SDCP unit

Alzheimer’s Queensland will work with residents and their family to ensure a smooth transition following a period of care in the SDCP unit. However, in the case that the transition is not smooth, security of tenure requirements will protect the rights of both parties by establishing circumstances in which a provider can ask a care recipient to leave the specialist dementia care unit but, must provide the resident with a suitable transfer option.


Standard aged care fees apply including:

  • Basic daily care fee
  • Accommodation payment/contribution
  • Means tested care fee

Accommodation Charges 

  • Maximum refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) of $550,000 or (DAP) $60.58

or a combination of both for example

(RAD) $275,000 and (DAP) $30.29


Figures based on MPIR as at 4.02% from 01/01/2021