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Online dementia courses facilitate mobile learning

Dementia Training Australia has launched a series of short online courses designed to support time-poor community and home care workers learn on the go. 

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

Two of the four topics covered in the e-learning courses have been designed specifically for care workers, coordinators and case managers working in community and home care.

The courses focus on understanding dementia and effective communication, as well as strategies to prevent episodes of challenging behaviour and protect the safety of clients and staff.

Another DTA online course, The View From Here, uses video case studies to help nurses and other health professionals understand the experience of being cared for in an acute hospital from the perspective of a person who has dementia.

The nine-module course, which provides downloadable tools to help develop the skills and knowledge needed to care for people with dementia, has been developed through a series of hospital trials.

Targeting residential aged care workers, the fourth course provides guidance to facility staff on the management of antipsychotic medication.

The mobile-friendly courses have been designed to support learning away from the desk and continuous professional development.

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 evidence that could be readily applied to the workplace.

“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.

The courses, which are free to the learner, begin 1 August.

See DTA’s website for more information and to register.

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