Since the Open Minds, Open Doors programme commenced in 2015, Home Support North in Whangarei has seen nothing but positive results.
Registered Nurse, Trainer and Assessor with the Whangarei-based organisation, Susanna Webster couldn’t talk more highly of the programme. “We put 82 through last year and currently have another 32 undertaking the programme … all are seeing significant and instant benefits, it’s been just brilliant.”
Co-ordinated and supported by Careerforce, Open Minds, Open Doors provides training for workers who are supporting people with dementia, with a strong focus on person-centred care. “We hold two one-day seminars, which run for approximately six hours each session. Most of these trainees work part time, so this is really achievable for them.”
Training helps increase skill and understanding
Susanna is delighted with the improvement in capabilities saying staff have increased understanding and skills and are able to apply what they have learned immediately. Importantly, this brings increased value to those being cared for also.
“In the past trainees have struggled with being able to manage supporting dementia behaviour. Open Minds, Open Doors teaches them to look for and recognise triggers, to recognise what is occurring and not react to behaviour. Once they’ve completed the programme trainees they are so much better equipped and no longer take things personally.”
When Susanna first saw the programme, she had her own “lightbulb moment”, saw immediate value for anyone caring for those with dementia. With over 400 staff, she plans to get as many as possible through Open Minds, Open Doors. “It was a ‘wow’ moment – I wish I’d known all this before! It’s a very, very helpful tool.”