First of its kind program embeds dementia care expertise

 A new first of its kind program from Dementia Support Australia (DSA), in partnership with HammondCare, is improving quality of life for people with dementia by enabling a better informed and equipped aged care sector.

The Intensive Industry Partner (IP) Consultant Program is designed to support aged care providers and the people they care for by upskilling and educating industry professionals, ultimately building sector capacity.

This innovative program provides DSA accreditation for aged care professionals as a way of embedding high-level dementia care knowledge within organisations.

Four participants – Shelby Roy and Dea Cope from Perth, and Nerida Pankhurst and Jeanne Daly from Brisbane – have successfully completed the intensive course and graduated at the end of January.

Shelby, from Perth, said she was honoured to participate in the accreditation process which allowed her to gain experience and knowledge to support her role as a facility manager, and to support other staff in Catholic Homes.

Nerida, from Brisbane, said she felt she would be more valuable in her organisation, Blue Care, after accomplishing the IP program.

“I have learnt so much working with the DSA consultants; they were very open to share their knowledge and were collaborative in their approach,” Nerida said.

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Pictured:Catholic Homes graduates Shelby Roy and Dea Cope, flanked by supporters and Dementia Support Australia consultants. 

“The reflective component of this training, for me, has been really worthwhile and I have learnt so much about my practice and how I can do things differently.”

Jeanne, a support officer at Brisbane Blue Care, said she too felt privileged to be chosen to represent Blue Care in the Industry Partner Program.

“The diversity of the staff working with DSA and HammondCare contributed greatly to our learnings from capacity building, physio, lifestyle, occupational therapy, mental health, dieticians, registered nurses and many more,” Jeanne said.

“The program walked us through step by step.”

Director of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre, Professor Colm Cunningham, said the program was pioneering the future of the aged and dementia care sector.

“It is a privilege to be a part of the establishment of this program by DSA and I’m confident it will do a great deal to improve the care that residents and clients receive,” Prof Cunningham said.

“I would like to congratulate the participants who completed this comprehensive and intensive program.

“I hope the knowledge and the training they experienced will prove invaluable to their respective organisations, boosting the service they already provide”

Dementia Support Australia (DSA) – a partnership led by HammondCare – is a national service, supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund, which administers Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) and Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRT).