Dementia Australia has developed a new smartphone app which provides training and support for at-home and community care workers.
Ask Annie, which was released last week, offers 10-15 minute ‘micro-lessons’ based on the real-life scenarios of those caring for people living with dementia.
“With almost half a million Australians living with dementia – which is projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058 – our community needs a greater focus on quality dementia care and ensuring continued training and support is available for the workforce,” said chief executive Maree McCabe.
There are currently over 130,000 people working in home support and community care across Australia.
Funded by Gandel Philanthropy, the app is a virtual tool and Annie gives practical techniques and tips to carers. According to Gandel chief executive Vedran Drakulic, Ask Annie showcases how technology can be used to improve the quality of dementia care.
“Ask Annie provides workers in the aged care industry with the opportunity to receive dementia-specific training that is practical, accessible and flexible enough to fit into their demanding days,” Drakulic said.
“The vision for Ask Annie was to create a unique and immersive learning experience that directly leads to learning outcomes that can be translated into everyday practice.”
The growing technological gap in the aged-care sector was highlighted in the royal commission final report. A recent survey suggests that less than half of aged-care providers currently use smart home technology.
BlueCross general manager Bridget Howes said that online systems can improve efficiency and confidence amongst caregivers.
“The fact that it's accessible on a mobile phone and for our home carers, on the tablets they use at work, makes it really convenient too.
“It means that, for example, if one of our home carers has questions about how to care for a client living with dementia, like mealtimes or showering, they could take a few minutes before they arrive at their home to brush up on some tips that could help alleviate any challenges that may arise in the situation.”
Ask Annie can be purchased through Dementia Australia's Centre for Dementia Learning: https://dementialearning.org.au/askannieDo you have an idea for a story?
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