Responding to changes in behaviour – enhancing quality of life
24 hour helpline 1800 699 799
24 hour helpline 1800 699 799


A list of frequently asked questions about the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service.

Who are Dementia Support Australia?

Dementia Support Australia (DSA) is an industry partnership led by HammondCare. We provide DBMAS with combined national coverage and local specialisation.

DSA is so named because DBMAS’s chief function is to be truly and effectively supportive. We provide:

  • a range of specialists focusing on building relationships with people;
  • a nationally consistent service, while providing a visible local presence;
  • a tailored service, not simply for the individual but responsive to the specific and diverse needs of the community, residential and acute environments; and
  • expert support, drawing on nursing, allied health and medical expertise.
DSA will deliver DBMAS with a difference because we will actively build capacity and knowledge within the aged care sector. Our Consultants will intentionally distribute and implement advice and expertise. A prime ambition of DSA is that by 2019, because of DBMAS, the skills, expertise and applied knowledge regarding ‘dementia behaviour’ are attributes of the many, not the few.

In addition to HammondCare, DSA includes a select group of partners to provide aged care services in communities across all Australian states and territories. These groups include:
  • Aged Care Channel (ACC) – DSA’s knowledge and capacity building partner
  • ARRCS – Supporting the service in the Northern Territory and Top End
  • Blue Care – Supporting the service in Queensland and Northern NSW
  • Catholic Homes – Supporting the service in WA
  • Wintringham – Providing particular expertise in supporting people with alcohol-related dementia and transitional care for complex cases

What is DBMAS?

The Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) is a free, nationwide service funded by the Australian Government. This service is provided by highly skilled multidisciplinary teams to support family and health and aged care professionals to better understand and respond to individual changes in behaviour and emotions, and enhance quality of life.

Who can use DBMAS services?

Those eligible for DBMAS services include:

  • Care Recipients;
  • Family Carers;
  • Staff or volunteers of aged care services; and
  • Other clinicians;
  • The behaviour of the person with dementia impacts on their care; and
  • The person with dementia is receiving care through an aged care service.

What are behavioural and psychological changes - or signs of distress - in dementia?

Behavioural expressions can include agitation or extreme restlessness, physically and verbally aggressive behaviour (which may be driven by depression, pain, fear or feelings of being threatened), wandering, and less commonly, social and/or sexual disinhibition.

Psychological changes can include delusions, hallucinations, apathy, depression and anxiety.

There may be multiple contributing factors to the behavioural expression, unique to the person and their circumstances. For more information on behaviour please refer to our Resources or call us for assistance on 1800 699 799. All DBMAS services are free.

How do I make a referral?

A referral to DBMAS is as simple as a phone call to 1800 699 799.

What if I live in a rural or a remote area?

People living in rural and remote areas are a key focus of DBMAS. DBMAS consultants regularly provide support to people with dementia and their carers in rural and remote areas of Australia through a variety of mechanisms including telephone, videoconferencing and face to face visits.

What if the person with dementia is from a culturally and linguistically diverse background?

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) are also a key focus of DBMAS. All DBMAS consultants have had special training in the needs and requirements of people from different cultural backgrounds, and who speak a language other than English.

Additionally, many resources and information brochures are available in multiple languages and interpreter services can be accessed if required.

Can DBMAS assist people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are another key focus of DBMAS. DBMAS consultants regularly provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers.

Where appropriate, DBMAS consultants utilize resources and therapy items specific to the interest, beliefs and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

What is SBRT?

The Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRT) is an Australian Government funded program. It is a mobile workforce of staff including nurse practitioners, nurses, allied health and specialist staff - available to provide timely expertise and advice to Commonwealth funded approved residential aged care providers requiring assistance with addressing the needs of people with severe and very severe Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD).

SBRTs can assess the causes of the behaviours, assist care staff until the immediate crisis is resolved, develop a care plan to address and deal with behaviours, then provide follow up assistance as needed.

How do DBMAS and SBRT work together?

The national Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) and SBRT are now provided by Dementia Support Australia (DSA), a partnership led by HammondCare.

HammondCare’s experience in running the DBMAS and national Severe Behaviour Response Teams along with the strength and experience of our partners will enable Dementia Support Australia’s commitment to provide a national DBMAS service with a difference. DBMAS have procedures in place to decide when the SBRT is the best service option or when DBMAS can provide the right support.

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