Many long-term care organizations struggle with staff training, especially in dementia care. Too often, staff don’t retain what they’re taught, or don’t understand why techniques are being implemented. Shift workers may struggle to find opportunities to do in-person training courses, opting instead for online formats that often have lower information retention rates. Well-intentioned staffers may be highly motivated during training sessions, but fail to apply what they’ve learned to their own residents.
What if staff training could be done in a completely different way? Improving dementia care training a panel of dementia care providers told attendees at this week's LeadingAge Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
At Abe’s Garden, a 42-bed memory care-only community in Nashville, everyone on the staff takes the same dementia care training, shares feedback and helps to train others. The training-the-trainer strategy crosses departments, and direct-care staff are often trained by a peer. Training modules focus on the primary activities and needs: Dining, personal hygiene, communication and behaviors. All materials are highly visual and focus on teamwork and creativity.