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First graduates to “Walking in Another’s Shoes” porgramme

Media release

18 September 2014

World Alzheimer’s Day - 21st September 2014: Southern DHB Celebrating first graduates to “Walking in Another’s Shoes” training programme

This Alzheimer’s Day, better, improved dementia care and support are becoming increasingly available, according to Southern DHB and the South Island Alliance’s Health of Older People’s group (HOPSLA).

Southern DHBs Dementia Educator Paula Hogan’s hard work has paid off as this week she saw 18 students from eight dementia care facilities in Milton and Dunedin graduate from the gold standard dementia care “Walking in Another’s Shoes” training programme. The programme involved an eight month learning journey which will equip these dementia care workers with skills to deliver high quality, person-centred dementia care.

To view life from another person’s perspective or to ‘walk in their shoes’ is at the heart of the learning programme which is especially designed for carers working in dementia care.

According to Paula the course has been “completely amazing”, as she explains: “It’s a real privilege to be able to take people on this learning journey, we actually got to go into workplaces and work with staff through real life challenges. I’ve seen people really evolve over this last eight months, and I’ve seen wonderful examples of how they are implementing the person-centred dementia care training in their everyday roles.”

The dedicated dementia care training programme “Walking in Another’s Shoes (WIAS) has continued to grow from strength to strength over the past 12 months, with more health professionals and carer/support staff now accessing the innovative programme. The programme was developed at Canterbury DHB and forms a key part of the South Island Alliance’s strategy to support and enhance the care of people living with dementia in our communities.

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The next Southern training course commences in two weeks’ time, and will include 26 students from facilities in Milton, Dunedin, Alexandra, Oamaru, Palmerston and Balclutha. Plans are underway to roll out the training into Invercargill and Gore mid 2015.

For the South Island the latest training figures show that in the 2013/2014 year a total of 328 care staff, home based support and other health professionals received the training, an increase of over 300% from the previous year, when 96 trainees graduated.

About World Alzheimer’s Day

World Alzheimer's Day held on 21 September each year, is a day on which Alzheimer's organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.


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