NARI is involving people with dementia, family carers, home care workers, case managers and service managers in developing and evaluating a dementia-specific training program for home care workers. It is not surprising that the quality of home care people with dementia receive directly influences their quality of life and ability to remain independent. We need a well-trained, highly skilled, empathic dementia specialist home support workforce to meet the growing demand for dementia home care services, if it is to be delivered in a consumer acceptable, person-centred way. By co-designing a training program that helps home care workers to realise the value of their roles and their influence on the experiences of the person with dementia and family carers, it is the aim of the NHMRC-funded PITCH project to ‘Promote Independence Through quality dementia Care at Home’.
This dementia-specific training program is being developed using a co-design approach involving people with dementia, family carers, home care workers, case managers and service managers. To date, 43 individual and focus group interviews have been conducted with people living with dementia, family carers, home care workers, case managers and service managers. Four dynamic co-design workshops involving all key groups were held in July 2018 to identify the main elements of the training program. The training program was then piloted with AlzheimersWA in November 2018. The next stage is to evaluate the PITCH training program through a formal trial in 2019-20. The hope is that this transformational training will improve the care experiences of people with dementia and their family carers, while reinforcing the positive aspects and importance of the home care worker role. Involving partners and collaborators nationally and internationally, the project is led by NARI director A/Prof Briony Dow, and managed by Dr Anita Goh. Other NARI team members involved include Dr Steven Savvas, Dr Frances Batchelor, Dr Meg Polacsek, Ms Erica Wise and Ms Stefanie Roberts.
For further information abut this project, please contact Dr Anita Goh: A.Goh@nari.edu.au