IRT Employees Complete Year-long Dementia Care Fellowship Program
Five IRT employees have completed a 12-month Dementia Training Australia (DTA) Fellowship Program to help improve the lives of people living with dementia.
As part of the program, IRT employees Kim Hart, Kushi Kuppanda, Beth Horner, Dumiso Ncube and Janet Fletcher developed, implemented and evaluated a project of their choice at select IRT locations in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Sydney regions.
IRT Group CEO, Patrick Reid says the Fellowship Program with DTA is one way IRT is working to better meet the unique needs of people living with dementia.
“We introduced the Fellowship Program last year in collaboration with Dementia Training Australia as part of our commitment to ensure older Australians have access to care that supports their dignity and recognises the contribution they have made to society,” Mr Reid said.
The IRT Fellows have applied a range of research-based, innovative approaches to enrich customers’ and residents’ quality of life.
One project focused on training care workers in effective communication skills when working with people living with dementia. Another investigated how residents’ personal history can be captured to personalise their room décor and tailor recreational activities inspired by their background.
Other focus areas of the IRT Fellows included integrating dementia friendly design concepts to promote independence, applying the Montessori approach to increase engagement in meaningful activities and developing individual care plans that account for peoples’ life history, recognising who they are and what’s important to them.
“Throughout the Fellowship Program we’ve been blown away by everyone’s passion and dedication to making a difference in the lives of our residents and customers,” Mr Reid said.
The Fellowship Program is part of IRT’s new Journey of Care model which tailors care environments, equipment and programs to each resident to improve their quality of life.
“IRT’s Journey of Care model personalises the care experience for every resident and recognises that every care journey is different,” Mr Reid said.
“The model is designed to honour the individual diversity of each resident, improve their independence, and support resident wellbeing at each stage of their care journey.”
IRT continues to support the IRT Fellows in the continuation of their projects beyond the completion of the Fellowship Program.
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