Jobs and Skills Summit: Dementia Education Must Underpin Workforce Solutions Discussions

Dementia Australia today reiterated the need for regular dementia education for older workers, as recommended in the final report of the Royal Commission on Quality and Safety in Care for Older People.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM said any discussion informing the Jobs and Skills Summit in September to focus on building the numbers and capacities of the older, short and term, must include quality dementia care and education.

“While having senior care providers and union representatives at the Summit is crucial, it is equally important to have those who are able to build workforce capacity and develop meaningful career paths. and enriching are also included,” said McCabe.

“Incorporating a minimum level of mandatory education into dementia care is as important as increasing staff and salaries.

“In the short term, upskilling the current workforce using existing tools such as the ‘Ask Annie’ mobile learning app and the government-funded ‘Dementia Essentials’ course will begin to mitigate some of the pressures and challenges of caring for someone with dementia. .

“We know that dementia education leads to fewer high-risk incidents, lower rates of inappropriate medication use, and more positive staff attitudes and morale, which ultimately translates into a better service delivery and improved quality of life for people with dementia.

“When people with dementia receive care from professionals who have had training in dementia, fewer incidences of behavior change are observed.

“With a longer term vision and vision that includes dementia specialization across all pathways to nursing and aged care qualifications, we can ensure that aged care and dementia will become a more specialized and attractive to pursue for health professionals and will attract qualified personnel. figures needed for the future.

“Addressing workforce issues by focusing on the number of staff, without requiring staff to have undergone training in dementia care, will result in more staff being underqualified and more under -qualified and will ensure that the issues identified by the Royal Commission will continue.

“With 65% of all institutionalized older people having moderate to severe cognitive impairment and 70% of the nearly half a million Australians with dementia living in the community having access to home care, all staff employed responsible for providing care must be properly trained in dementia care.

“The sooner all aged care staff have access to appropriate education and training in dementia care, the sooner we will begin to see the changes needed to improve health, lifestyle and outcomes of care for people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.

“We salute the federal government for making improving care for the elderly a priority and we look forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure that quality care and mandatory dementia care education are integrated into this. priority in the ongoing reform process of care for the elderly. »

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the half a million Australians with dementia and the nearly 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support lifesaving research. We are here to support people affected by dementia and enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are affected by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

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