Dementia Training Australia has launched an online learning platform featuring short and flexible courses designed to help time-poor aged care staff complete the training.

DTA is a consortium of experts and dementia educators, led by the University of Wollongong, funded by the Federal Government to deliver national education and training to health and aged care staff who provide care to people with dementia.

The topics covered in the four e-learning courses include antipsychotics in residential care and understanding dementia in the community and acute care settings.

The mobile-friendly courses have been designed to support learning on the go and feature video case studies, downloadable tools and quizzes.

DTA executive director Professor Richard Fleming said DTA has used its research partnerships and a knowledge translation framework to ensure the training was based on the most up-to-date, implementation-ready evidence.

“This research-based approach extends to DTA’s e-learning, which is designed around emerging evidence on how people learn and retain information,” Professor Fleming said.

He said the DTA was conscious of the limitations of a time-poor workforce and statistics on non-completion of online courses, which could be as high as 90 per cent.

“With this in mind we are building a flexible e-learning platform of short courses, which are typically under four hours each and can be completed over a realistic time frame, usually two weeks.”

DTA is also looking at post-learning follow-up quizzes to help knowledge stick after the course has finished, he said.

Reducing BPSD among residents

One of the new courses is focused on the management of antipsychotic medications in residential aged care facilities.

It aims to provide practical guidance for implementing latest evidence on the use of antipsychotics to reduce the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

The course explores the following scenario in a video case study:

Derek is 68 and living with Alzheimer’s disease in a residential care home. Gentle by nature, he loves to paint landscapes. One day he becomes distressed and physically aggressive towards a nurse when he thinks he sees snakes in his room. His care worker intervenes, and is able to calm him by showing him one of his paintings.

Derek’s care plan is adjusted, and his care team makes some changes, including changing the lighting and bedding in his room. However, Derek continues to be distressed and aggressive, particularly in the evenings. The care team decides to consider medicating Derek.

The course is divided into three steps and is estimated to take around two hours to complete over two weeks.

The other e-learning programs are aimed at promoting knowledge and understanding of dementia among the community and home care workforce as well as nurses and other professionals working in hospitals.

The courses, which are free to the learner, begin from 1 August and will be repeated monthly. Registrations opened on 20 July.

See DTA’s website for more information.

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12 Comments

  1. Very constructive and necessary training for all aged care staffs who are suitable and committed to the health of our loved ones.

  2. will be very interesting and everyone should do it for professional and personal reasons

  3. Thank you so much for the free information on Dementia, i do wish to be informed on the course materials and how it can be taught.

    Thank you

  4. Hi Ann,
    There’s a link to DTA’s website at the bottom of the story. You can find out all the information there.

  5. I am currently caring for my father in law who has been diagnosed with dementia. He currently lives independently in a retirement village and is 87. I would appreciate if anyone could point my the right direction to find easy reading literature that will help me understand the condition and therefore be better prepared to provide the best possible assistance.

    Would modules of this course be of benefit?

    Steve

  6. Steve, the course through DTA is very good and the documents easy to read. However there are a number of alternatives that are very good. One is the self paced course on the dementia friendly communities website. The course is easy to read, can be read aloud by the computer while the reader hovers the mouse over the course work

  7. Can you send me some info on the course
    Do you get a certificate at the end of it as l do home and community care.
    Plus l have a sister-in-law New Zealand with it

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