The dementia learning revolution

It’s as big a commitment as Uniting AgeWell can make.

Every single member of its almost 4,000 workforce across Tasmania and Victoria will undertake mandatory dementia learning to help them provide the best possible care and support to the growing number of clients and residents living with dementia – and their families.

And it’s not just for staff in caring roles. From the maintenance worker to the receptionist at the front desk – all staff will have a greater understanding of dementia and access to further information at their fingertips. The mandatory learning module focuses on understanding the brain and dementia, and there are a further six modules that staff can undertake including the importance of empathy and communication.

Uniting AgeWell is using Dementia Action Week from September 18-24, to launch its new Dementia Hub which is available to all staff via its online Learning and Development portal, BYB.

There are a vast number of courses and education tools available, including further learning for nurses and those in care-giving roles.

It’s huge. And it shows Uniting AgeWell’s commitment to excellence in dementia care and supporting staff to learn as much about this degenerative disease as they can.

New BYB Dementia Hub

General Manager Tasmania Jane Johnston says a wide range of new education, tools and resources are now available to staff to empower them to provide the best support they can to residents and clients living with this disease through the Dementia Hub.

The Dementia Hub is a one-stop information shop on dementia and includes fact sheets, videos, courses, eLearning and workshops and is now available for easy access on the Uniting AgeWell Learning and Development portal, BYB.

It has been specifically designed to enable staff to quickly and easily access the latest information and learning about dementia. The Hub includes online training from Dementia Training Australia and Dementia Australia and includes topics such as: Minimising use of antipsychotic medications for responsive behaviour; Understanding responsive behaviours; Creating supportive environments for people living with dementia and Why environments matter, and also how it impacts on those in the LGBTIQA+ community.

Mandatory dementia training for all staff

Education for all staff will include an online training program called Dementia Discovery, with the first module ‘Understanding the brain and dementia’ being mandatory. There are further modules on specific types of dementia and two modules on the importance of empathy and communication.

Nurses training

All nurses, like Sagun Hamal (pictured), will have an additional element of training called the Pain Puzzle, which comprises three modules. Already, our residential care nurses have been involved in the trialling of Paincheck – an app that recognises changes in facial expressions (ie. grimacing) showing that a person living with dementia who cannot verbalise well has pain.

Specialised training

There has also been training for Lifestyle staff from Dementia Australia which covers the subject of sexuality and intimacy.

Find out more about Uniting AgeWell’s approach to Dementia Care