Free dementia training course for first responders


Frontline emergency workers can now access specialised training to help equip them to assist people with dementia safely in emergency situations.

The landmark Dementia Training for First Responders course is aimed at addressing the unique challenges faced by frontline workers when dealing with people living with dementia.

The free, one-hour online course developed by Dementia Training Australia (DTA) and fully funded by the Australian government, will empower first responders to handle encounters with people with dementia empathetically and safely.

The course aims to enhance the ability of frontline workers to interact effectively and provide appropriate interventions. Training covers dementia symptoms, the impact on the brain and behaviour, and the unique challenges these present.

The program is accessible through a flexible online platform, featuring interactive content and practical insights from experienced professionals in the field.

The training is based on a successful 2020 pilot partnership between Dementia Training Australia, St John’s Ambulance, and WA Police, which produced a specialised training program for staff. It is now being rolled out at a comprehensive national level dementia training program for first responders.

Seven first responder organisations across four states and the Northern Territory have already signed up, including police, ambulance and health services.

First responders were currently being asked to handle situations they were not fully prepared for, said Ellie Newman, UWA Director at Dementia Training Australia.

“Many may have never encountered a person with dementia or witnessed the various behavioural changes that may occur.

“By completing the first responders course, they will gain a deep understanding of how dementia affects the brain and behaviour of those living with it, providing them with the practical tools needed to communicate effectively and prevent distress escalation.”

Participants receive a certificate on successful completion of the course.

To register for the one-hour online course, visit Dementia Training Australia

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