Science and Technology

Free training courses to cultivate dementia care leaders


A new nationwide program is set to revolutionise dementia care in Australia by cultivating a network of leaders dedicated to supporting individuals living with the condition.

The Dementia Knowledge to Action training program, spearheaded by Dementia Training Australia, aims to empower leaders and supervisors in care facilities with the skills needed to enhance dementia care practices and foster a culture of learning. The initiative kicks off with three pilot courses in Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Maroochydore in Queensland.

Dr Isabelle Meyer, Executive Director of Dementia Training Australia, emphasised the program’s goal of nurturing a community of leaders who will drive positive change and continuous improvement in their workplaces.

“We are cultivating a community of leaders who will champion change and continuous improvement in their workplaces. They will be the go-to experts on staff who become mentors for best practice dementia care” Dr Meyer said.

One of the program’s standout features is its accessibility, with courses offered free of charge to organisations. This initiative allows care facilities to invest in ongoing improvements to their services.

Utilising innovative virtual reality (VR) technology, the program provides participants with immersive experiences that simulate living with dementia. This hands-on approach fosters empathy among leaders and enhances their ability to implement high-quality care practices.

Dr Meyer highlighted the transformative impact of VR technology in facilitating meaningful change within organisations and ultimately improving the quality of life for individuals with dementia.

The program curriculum covers a range of topics, including practical projects such as redesigning living spaces for dementia patients and implementing best practices in personal care training. Participants also learn how to initiate change projects within their organisations and develop skills in behavioural management and resilience.

“Our goal is to empower participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to drive positive change within their organisations, ultimately improving the lives of individuals with dementia,” Dr Meyer said.

With a target of training 100 Dementia Guides by June 2025, the Dementia Knowledge to Action program aims to significantly enhance the expertise of dementia care professionals, leading to better outcomes for patients and their families. Graduates receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the program.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.

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