Around 1.6 million people are involved in the care of Australians with dementia, however dementia training is currently not mandatory for aged care workers.

To better understand dementia and to learn how to best communicate and encourage people affected by the disease, Carinity Aged Care and Carinity Home Care staff are undertaking dementia-focused training.

Nurses and carers who support residents and clients living with dementia are completing courses from Dementia Australia and the Wicking Dementia Centre, through the University of Tasmania.

Speaking during Dementia Action Week (September 21-27), Carinity Aged Care Regional Manager Kathy Nicholls says it is important her team members be skilled in understanding the complexities of dementia, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

“Dementia is one of the most prevalent conditions to affect older members of the community, so it is important our care staff be skilled in understanding the complexities of dementia,” Kathy says.

“Our carers are keen to expand their knowledge in being able to provide the best care possible for residents living with dementia.”

“Our carers strive to learn more not only about the physiology of dementia but develop interventions to prevent adverse behaviours in people living with the condition.

“Knowing how to communicate effectively with people affected by dementia means Carinity can better support seniors in the activities of daily living and in activities that bring enjoyment to their lives.”

Dementia Australia chief executive Maree McCabe told the Royal Commission into Aged Care that 70 per cent of the aged care workforce has not received any training about caring for older residents experiencing dementia.

“With 50 per cent of all those in residential aged care having a diagnosis of dementia, almost every worker across the country is involved in caring for people impacted by dementia,” she says.

“Any organisation that takes on the care of a person living with dementia must commit to training their staff to ensure they are delivering quality dementia care in the home.”

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