A new online education resource for undergraduate students doing health-related courses has been produced by the Eastern Australia Dementia Training and Studies Centre (EADTSC) – a joint initiative of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Griffith University and the University of Wollongong.
According to the EADSTC, Dementia Education Online is a one-stop shop for information on dementia.
The new education package is delivered in three learning modules which provide an overview of what dementia is and how it can be recognised as well as communication in dementia care.
Professor Helen Edwards from QUTsaid there was a real need to prepare health practitioners to deal with dementia giving the rising rates of the disease.
“It is not just the aged care industry that has to work with people with dementia, you’ve got health professionals in emergency departments and acute care units who while treating a medical condition will be treating patients with dementia,” she said.
“In 2006 there were more than 210,000 Australian’s diagnosed with dementia and it is predicted over the next two decades the neurodegenerative disorder will replace systemic disorders, like cardiovascular disease and cancer, as a major cause of death and disability,” she said.
Although the online resource is targeted at undergraduate students, QUT’s Professor Helen Edwards said it can provide a valuable information tool for healthcare professionals, family carers and the broader community.
The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, has welcomed the new online resource.
“As Australia’s population ages, skilling the aged care workforce to provide high quality dementia care is vital,” she said.