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Understanding Dementia: How to stay up to date on the latest treatments.
Dementia, what is it?
Described as “a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain” and it is not one specific disease.
It alters thinking, behaviour, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is impacted enough to cause interference with someone’s normal social or working life.
So, what is it like working with a client with dementia?
Caring for someone with dementia can be both rewarding and challenging. As it is specific to each person, people living with dementia may present with changes in behaviour and needs differently.
Behaviour changes may include, reduced or confused communication, anxious or agitated states, hallucinations and false ideas, loss of inhibition, aggression, wandering, or depression.
Changes to needs of the person and their care may include, communication needs, eating and nutrition needs, hygiene needs, continence, sleeping habits, memory abilities, and oral and dental health.
As each person experiences different effects and unique needs from their care, it is pivotal to ensure you are up-to-date on treatments. The Australian Government has launched the Dementia Training Program to offer a national approach to accredited education, upskilling, and professional development in dementia care.
Dementia Training Program
The Department of Health has created the Dementia Training Program that standardises the approach to education, upskilling and professional development for Dementia care as a country.
The program is free to eligible care workers in residential or community settings. The course is run by Dementia Care Australia, who have a range of resources and free courses that can be taken online or in person.
The program provides-
- Continued professional development training on dementia assessment, diagnosis and management to GPs, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, specialists, allied health, and other relevant professionals as appropriate.
- Accredited dementia care vocational level training courses – free to eligible care workers in residential, respite, community care, or the wider health services.
- Tailored onsite training to aged care providers who request assistance. This includes dementia skills and environment audit, followed by a specific and tailored training package. (These services may include a fee).
Why is the program important?
All people living with dementia should receive the highest-quality, evidence-based care in all areas.
Goals of the program
The overarching goal is to improve the care and wellbeing of people living with dementia, while also looking out for the wellbeing of the staff delivering the care.
It does this by providing nationally consistent, high-quality knowledge translation services to all health and aged-care staff and providers, managers, and other professionals.
To find out more about the program and get extra guides, head to the link below- https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/dementia-training-program