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First class finishes Walking in Another’s Shoes

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The Walking in Another’s Shoes programme, an experiential dementia training programme, has seen its first graduates in the MidCentral district.

​The programme is designed to help aged care workers understand what it’s like to live with dementia, and better help them understand the condition. The first class began last year, and all 22 participants have recently graduated.

The first class was a mixture of diversional therapists and caregivers, with the next two classes, that began in February, including caregivers and registered nurses.

MDHB Portfolio Manager, Health of Older People Jo Smith has talked to the graduates and seen the benefits of the course.

She said: “The graduates and their managers have really seen the benefits of this programme. Talking to the graduates, they have expressed just how much their views on dementia residents have developed over the last few months.

“MidCentral DHB is one of only three DHBs to have committed to funding Walking in Another’s Shoes on an enduring basis. This is because we recognise the growing need for dementia care in our district, and we want to ensure the best quality of care we can for these older people in our aged care facilities.”

Through the programme staff are taught many new skills, informed of the important role they play in the shift toward person-centred dementia care, and shown the ways in which challenging behaviour in those with cognitive impairment can be seen as a communication of unmet needs.

Walking in Another’s Shoes was developed by a psychogeriatrician and occupational therapist at Canterbury DHB and was rolled out here after a successful demonstration at Hawke’s Bay DHB.

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