A better understanding of dementia

A training programme designed to help caregivers understand what it's like to live with dementia and how to better understand those with the condition will be offered to MidCentral District Health Board's caregivers and registered nurses working in the aged care sector.

MidCentral, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Capital & Coast DHBs have been given the go-ahead to roll out the training after a successful demonstration of the Walking in Another's Shoes programme by Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

It was developed by a psychogeriatrician and occupational therapist at Canterbury DHB, and has been available throughout the South Island for some time.

Senior portfolio manager health of older people, Jo Smith, said the training would provide care staff with new skills and a greater understanding of the pivotal role they play in the move towards more person-centred care for people with dementia.

"It is a model of care that will help caregivers and registered nurses working in the sector have a more positive view of the condition and the care provided," she said. "Walking in Another's Shoes teaches caregivers to view challenging behaviour in those with cognitive impairment and dementia as a communication of unmet needs.

"Two programmes, one aimed at caregiving staff, and the other at registered nurses, will be getting under way in May."

Ms Smith said there were many inquiries from facilities wanting to participate in the first programme and she anticipated the new role being a significant investment in better care for those with cognitive impairment and dementia conditions.

Manawatu Standard