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“As we’ve seen in the new Economic Impact of Dementia report, dementia is a ticking time-bomb for New Zealand, with numbers set to reach 170,000 by 2050 – a staggering 300 percent increase with an estimated cost of $4.6 billion,” says Careerforce CEO, Ray Lind.

The Ministry of Heath Framework for Dementia Care highlights the need to boost workforce training, with a strong focus on person-centred care, so the best possible care and support can be given to those living with dementia and their families.

Careerforce, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the health and wellbeing sectors, works closely with employers across New Zealand to implement workplace training programmes, so their staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognise, understand and support people living with dementia.

“Caring for someone with dementia can be a very challenging role and one of the things many people say is that they are not sure how to help. In these situations, it’s easy to feel incompetent,” Mr Lind says.

“So, the key focus of our workplace training programmes is to enable staff to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to best recognise, manage and support dementia-related behaviour.”

The Careerforce Dementia Limited Credit Programme (LCP) focuses on the essential skills, knowledge and attitudes required to support a person with dementia in a residential facility.

The ITO was only able to accept enrolments for their Dementia Programme until 30 June this year. This was because of their existing funding agreement with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

The great news is that following negotiations with TEC and recognising the ongoing need for this programme, TEC has agreed to continue to fund the Dementia LCP.

This limited credit programme consists of four-unit standards and supports caregivers working in or entering the dementia residential field. It represents the essential knowledge and skills required for working with residents affected by dementia.

Learning and assessment for this programme occurs in the workplace. It covers the following topics:

  • knowledge of dementia and communicating with a person with dementia
  • providing person-centred care to a person living with dementia
  • knowledge of the effects of dementia and how to manage them
  • supporting a person with dementia when their behaviour presents challenges.

Trainees undergoing this programme should aim to complete the programme within 6 months (from their start date).

Continuing to make the LCP available means that Careerforce can continue to support employers achieve their Aged Residential Care agreement (ARRC) contracts.

More information about the Residential Limited Credit Programme (Level 4) Dementia can be found here: