New program improving dementia care

A new training program pioneered in Tasmania is promising earlier dementia diagnosis and better support for patients, their families and carers.

 

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt officially launched General Practice Training Tasmania's Dementia Care Training and Education Program today and said the module could have national application.

 

“Training our GPs and practice nurses is of vital importance to dementia care in Australia,” said Mr Wyatt.

 

“While general dementia literacy among health professionals is alarmingly low, evaluation of this program has already demonstrated promising changes in doctors’ clinical behaviour, due to improved awareness, knowledge and confidence in dementia care.

 

“This augers well for the potential national rollout of this online resource, for example, through inclusion in the suite of materials hosted by Dementia Training Australia.”

 

The program – offered online – aims to deliver tailored, quality training and education in dementia care to health professionals.

 

Mr Wyatt said, “Local doctors will be better able to assess carers’ knowledge and their roles in providing support for people living with dementia.

 

“Practice nurses will also be better equipped to recognise dementia symptoms and assist patients and families, particularly in rural and remote communities.”

 

An estimated 425,000 Australians are living with dementia the nation’s second most common cause of death.

 

The Government’s Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund supported development of the Tasmanian program through a $670,000 grant, complementing the annual $9.3 million funding for the national Dementia Training Program.

 

For more dementia information, see www.dementia.org.au or contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

 

19 March 2018.