Govt funds free dementia training for First Responders

The Australian Government has introduced a free training initiative to equip First Responders with specialised skills to assist individuals with dementia during emergencies.

The program, facilitated by Dementia Training Australia, aims to improve the capabilities of front-line workers in interacting effectively with the over 400,000 Australians living with dementia. The free one-hour online course covers essential topics, including dementia symptoms, brain and behaviour impacts, and is accessible through an interactive online platform.

An increase in extreme weather events has seen elderly people often the most impacted, especially when confined to their homes with restricted mobility. The recent Cairns floods impacted 140,000 homes in what has been described as a once-in-a-century event. A call out for supplies was recently initiated by a local nurse who witnessed first-hand the unmet needs of the elderly in the community.

Seven first responder organisations in four States and the Northern Territory, encompassing police, ambulance, and health services, have already enrolled.

“By completing the First Responders course, they will gain a deeper understanding of how dementia affects the brain and behaviour of those living with it, providing them with the practical tools needed to identify someone who may be impacted by dementia, communicate effectively and prevent distress and escalation”

Isabelle Meyer, Executive Director of Dementia Training Australia

Those interested in the “First Responders” course can learn more or register on Dementia Training Australia’s website.


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