MercyCare’s aged care team has a couple of champions within its ranks.
Care Coordinator Gayle Blenkinsopp and Support Advisor Jacquie Maddaford recently had their Dementia Change Champion status renewed.
The endorsement is part of an Alzheimer’s WA program that assists community organisations to develop staff in dementia care.
The Dementia Champions program assists staff in gaining knowledge, skills, information and materials to support the development of a person-centred approach in community services for people living with dementia.
The pair first became Dementia Change Champions a couple of years ago.
In order to keep their registration as Dementia Change Champions validated, they must earn points on a yearly basis by attending workshops, network meetings, proof of practice and assessments.
As part of the program, Gayle and Jacquie completed a Certificate 4 in Dementia Practice over a 12-month period.
Gayle, coordinates the McAuley House Social Centre, which hosts a group of people with dementia on a weekly basis.
She says while she already knew a great deal about dementia, taking part in the program helped to reinforce the work she was doing and has also given her fresh perspectives on matters and situations that can arise.
Gayle is already sharing her newfound knowledge with the wider MercyCare team by mentoring another staff member who has since begun the Dementia Change Champions program.
Jacquie shares her training with support workers in the community, sharing her knowledge with them so they know how best to support MercyCare service users.
Her knowledge also helps her provide quality information and the best possible outcomes for individuals by collaborating with other dementia specific organisations.