A specialist online training program has been launched for registered nurses and personal care assistants working in aged care to help them deliver better care for residents living with Parkinson’s.
The Fight Parkinson’s Learning Hub will provide online education courses for the Parkinson’s community to help them better understand the progressive neurological condition and improve the lives of people with it.
It will feature online education programs for individuals and families living with Parkinson’s and Atypical Parkinson’s (PSP, MSA and CBS), as well as the healthcare professionals caring for them.
The aged care education program was developed to build the skills and capability of the aged care workforce caring for patients and residents with Parkinson’s. It is estimated that up to 8% of Australia’s aged care population live with the condition.
It marks one of four initial programs launched on the new Fight Parkinson’s Learning Hub.
“Parkinson’s is one of the most challenging diseases to manage due to its chronic, progressive nature, complicated and diverse motor and non-motor symptoms specific to each individual and limited management options,” Fight Parkinson’s CEO Emma Collin said.
“Getting medication on time is vital in helping manage symptoms, but we know from feedback and calls to our health line, that many working in the sector need to build knowledge and skills in PD.”
The training program developed for registered nurses (RNs) and personal care assistants (PCAs) working in aged care focuses on Parkinson’s care, with Atypical Parkinson’s (PSP, MSA and CBS) content planned for development at a later stage.
It was designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based Parkinson’s-friendly care. Care staff will learn key signs and symptoms and practical ways they can support people living with Parkinson’s.
According to Fight Parkinson’s, upskilling aged care workers to improve their knowledge around Parkinson’s-specific care will also help improve some of the shortfalls identified in their submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission, particularly around nutrition, restraint, dementia and palliative care.
“The aim is to leave the aged care staff with an overview of the many facets of Parkinson’s and an understanding that residents they care for with the condition do not fit in one box, with one solution. As a result, we hope to see residents experience a better quality of life,” Ms Collin said.
The Aged Care Training program is being sold to aged care providers and individually to RNs and PCAs working in aged care. However, all community-based education programs for people with Parkinson’s will be free of charge.
Understanding Parkinson’s is a course designed to help family, friends, colleagues and carers understand the condition and how it impacts a person living with it. The Recently Diagnosed program is the first of its kind in Australia and is based on information provided in the Fight Parkinson’s Recently Diagnosed seminars.
It includes information on common motor and non-motor symptoms and how to manage them. The program also covers treatment options, the benefits of creating a multi-disciplinary team to support you and information to help people live well with Parkinson’s.
“People will be able to watch and learn in their own time and at their own pace, pausing and continuing as suits them. Offering free online education means anyone can access the information they need, regardless of their personal circumstances,” Ms Collin said.
Aged Care – www.fightparkinsons.org.au/agedcarelearning
Community learning – www.fightparkinsons.org.au/communitylearning