DTA Media Release

Dementia training on the rise as sector changes for the better

There is increasing demand for quality dementia training as the Australian aged care sector begins to take the citizenship of people with dementia seriously, Dementia Training Australia Executive Director Richard Fleming said today.

“More and more aged care providers are recognising the importance of dementia training that delivers real change – not just ‘tick the box’ training,” Professor Fleming said.

“Demand for our training is currently very high; in some areas we are more than doubling training targets, and we see this as a positive sign that things are changing for the better.”

Dementia Training Australia (DTA) is funded by the Federal Government to provide dementia education and training across Australia.

It offers courses, workshops and resources for individual learners, and works directly with change-ready organisations on Tailored Training Packages (TTPs) which combine environmental design and staff training to bring about sustainable change.

Appearing before the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality today, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe is to call for mandatory dementia education for all dementia care workers.

“With more than 50 per cent of people in residential aged care living with a diagnosis of dementia, it is essential that a minimum level of dementia specific training becomes a national prerequisite to work in aged care across all parts of the system,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia Australia is a consortium member of DTA, delivering the vocational training program Dementia Essentials which reached more than 5000 care workers across Australia last year.

Too many care workers in Australia are working with people living with dementia without the skills and knowledge they need, Professor Fleming said.

“They come to us for training because they want to learn more, to make the experience more meaningful for themselves and residents.

“Aged care providers, many of them encouraged by the new Aged Care Quality Standards, are also looking to create meaning for staff and residents. They are investing time in staff training and moving away from away from clinical, facility like environments to create home-like environments where residents can feel a sense of meaning and belonging.”