Practical dementia insights shared at NZTC PD evenings

Practical dementia insights shared at NZTC PD evenings

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Attendees at the Auckland professional development evening

Healthcare assistants’ commitment to delivering outstanding care was evident with the large turnout to New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC)’s professional development evenings on dementia in November.

Industry experts Lee Andrews and Mandi Smith delivered sessions on Dementia – Understanding Challenging Behaviours to more than 100 people at the college’s Christchurch and Auckland campuses.

NZTC regularly hosts professional development evenings to support the healthcare sector, enabling healthcare workers, students and community members to learn from experienced health and wellbeing professionals.

NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox, who opened the Auckland professional development session, said the interest shown by the healthcare assistants in attendance was a testament to their hard work and dedication to being outstanding carers of the sector and our communities.

“Time and time again, we see carers take time out of their busy schedules to attend these free professional development evenings, and often after a long, demanding day at work. NZTC is so privileged to be able to support the important work of carers by enhancing their knowledge and growing their skills.”

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NZTC Lecturers Kath Duncan and Maxine Farquhar with Christchurch Guest Speaker Lee Andrews

The sessions provided insight into the causes of common dementia behaviours and suggested practical care strategies for healthcare assistants to implement in their work.

The speakers highlighted the increasing prevalence of dementia in New Zealand, with the number of those diagnosed with the condition expected to rise from 70,000 to 170,000 by 2050.

Attendees’ responses to the event were overwhelmingly positive, with many noting the familiarity of the situations described and the value of practical advice to assist them in their roles.

Jesma Naidu, who works as a Facility Manager at a rest home, said the knowledge she gained would have a significant influence on the way she approaches clients with dementia.

“The session was so informative, and has left me inspired to continue educating myself and look further into the topics,” said Jesma.

“I come across these behaviours every day in my work, so it was great to learn why dementia clients behave in this way. My reactions to this behaviour will be different now that I’m more aware of the importance of staying present and understanding the patient’s perspective.”