Aged Care

Dementia course to boost aged care staff skills and leadership

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Dementia Australia has announced the launch of Australia’s first fully-subsidised Certificate IV in Dementia Practice – a comprehensive training program aimed at advancing the skills and leadership capabilities of aged care staff across the country.

Fronted by dementia care advocate Ita Buttrose AC, the 12-month course was developed by Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning in response to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Commission called for stronger leadership and expertise among workers to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia.

With 65 per cent of all those in residential aged care having a moderate to severe cognitive impairment and 70 per cent of the almost half a million Australians with dementia living in the community accessing in-home care, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM stressed the vital need for appropriately skilled frontline staff and managers.

“Strong leadership was recognised as a critical element of sustained practice improvements by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and in response, also by the Federal Government,” said McCabe.

Funded under the Australian government’s JobTrainer initiative, the course covers 14 key units on ethical approaches, communication, relationships, and implementing contemporary best practices. Graduates can progress into further study as well.

The University of Tasmania will offer credit for one unit towards its Diploma of Dementia Care program. Director of the Wicking Dementia Centre Professor James Vickers hailed the integrated educational pathway.

“Our partnership recognising learning achieved through the Certificate IV qualification towards the Diploma of Dementia Care at the University of Tasmania will help to build expertise in dementia further, providing a skilled workforce that will boost the quality of dementia care nationally,” Prof Vickers said.

Upon completion, graduates will be equipped with advanced skills to lead change within aged care facilities, mentor colleagues, and make a meaningful difference for those in their care.

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