Staff and skill shortages are an ongoing challenge in the aged and community care sector. To overcome this, providers are looking beyond traditional qualifications to develop the skills of their existing staff base. There are many out-of-the-box learning resources and training programs available, many of which are free and can take place online or at your place of work. These resources educate staff on topics such as new government legislation, dementia care, and identifying health and safety risks. Here we list some of the unique educational resources that may benefit your organisation.
1. Government and industry body resources
The Department of Health hosts regular webinars on a range of aged care topics. These webinars can help aged and community care staff understand upcoming changes to government processes or regulations. The Department of Health website contains a bank of webinars, such as Increasing Choice in Home Care – Operational Readiness and Changes to the Management of Provisionally Allocated Places: How will it affect you? which can be accessed at any time. In addition, individuals can subscribe to receive notifications about upcoming webinars so that they can stay informed about the impact of any future legislative changes.
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is the body in charge of accrediting residential care services and conducting quality reviews of community care services. To ensure providers understand their accreditation requirements and keep up to date with any changes, the Quality Agency provides a number of learning opportunities. These include workshops on topics such as Consumer Directed Care and Home Care Standards and Managing Accreditation Performance, as well as educational videos and learning packages.
2. National and accredited resources
For disability and community care providers, the Home Care Today website offers a Knowledge Centre that includes webinars, learning modules and other resources. Home Care Today is led by a steering committee of peak community care bodies, including COTA Australia, LASA and ACSA. This national service aims to support both care recipients and providers and contains useful tips for providers on topics ranging from marketing to innovation.
Dementia Training Australia is a consortium that delivers a nationally accredited dementia training program. Led by the University of Wollongong and Alzheimer’s Australia, the Dementia Essentials course is fully funded by the Commonwealth Government and is designed for health, aged and community care workers. The course can be delivered at your place of work and can be tailored to a format that suits the organisation. The Dementia Essentials course aims to provide techniques for effective communication, insight into changed behaviours and effective responses, as well as activities that promote wellbeing.
3. Online and computer learning
The University of Tasmania runs a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Understanding Dementia. This free, nine-week course is held solely online and has seen over 70,000 people enrol since 2013. The course draws on the expertise of neuroscientists, clinicians, carers, and people living with dementia to provide techniques to improve the quality of life and health of people with dementia.
Online games are another learning avenue for aged and community care professionals. The University of the Sunshine Coast has designed an online training game called Safe Environments to educate aged and community care staff on identifying safety risks and hazards. The three-dimensional simulated environment asks players to identify potential safety hazards in a home, healthcare facility, park and supermarket. Games such as Safe Environments help to educate aged and community care staff in a fun and interactive environment, and give staff a chance to put their knowledge into practice.
Benefits of continued learning
Ongoing education can provide peace of mind that staff are informed about relevant government legislation changes, and have the right skill sets to meet the demands of your business. In addition, demonstrating a solid commitment to workforce development enables providers to offer more attractive career opportunities to potential employees.
Have you discovered an out-of-the-box educational resource that has benefited your organisation? Join our conversation below.
Tags: aged care, aged care software, ageing, ageing population, consumer directed care, dementia, Department of Health, education, ehealth, government, health, software, software provider, technology, Telstra Health, Telstra Health - Aged Disability & Community Care, training, wellbeing, workforce, workforce development