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Online dementia care resource to assist carers

Published:14 February 2018

(From left) JCU staff Kellie Johns, Stephen Anderson, Bronwyn Mathieson and David Lindsay; CQU academic Adele Baldwin, and Ed via Skype at the project's launch on January 31.

Formal and informal carers now have access to online dementia care resources, courtesy of a collaborative learning and teaching project.

Officially launched of January 31, the project, dubbed A Long Goodbye – Ed's Story, follows the story of Ed Jones, whose late wife, Mary Jones, was diagnosed with dementia in 2001, aged 81.

Project lead, CQUni Senior Lecturer Adele Baldwin, said Ed's story was a seamless illustration which effectively depicted how the words and actions of health professionals effect a patient, both positively and negatively.

"Ed's story is one of compassion, strength, laughter, loyalty and loss, and chronicles the journey of caring for a loved one diagnosed with the illness," she said.

"Very few people journal their story as their lives change, but the richness of learning recipients of formal care is a unique opportunity for all health professionals working in the field.

"For maximum engagement, Ed's journal is presented in two ways; as a whole journal, from start to finish, and broken down into key elements with accompanying video vignettes."

Adele said the online suite of materials was developed to target educators and students working in health professions as well as carers, patient families and community members.

"Viewers have access to information relating to dementia and its burden in the Australian context; experiences of patients, carers, family and friends; issues pertaining to careers, and learning resources," she said.

"Furthermore, viewers are also provided with external links to support groups, government and non-government agencies which specialise in dementia care.

"The information presented allows informal and formal carers to gain a better understanding of dementia types, causative factors, symptoms, strategies to assist and services available, without necessarily having access to reliable resources."

Adele said the resources were already being adopted by Australia residential aged-care facilities.

"Facilities are incorporating the resources in staff orientation packs and are set to be distributed to families dealing with a dementia diagnosis," she said.

Resource development took approximately two years and was made possible thanks to a James Cook University (JCU) learning and teaching grant.

"After transitioning to CQUni, I was able to continue my project work with JCU staff Kellie Johns, Stephen Anderson, Bronwyn Mathieson, Marie Bodak and David Lindsay," Adele said.

"The suite of materials, built on a university content management and curation platform, will remain a living resource and be updated when required."

For more information, contact Adele Baldwin by emailing a.baldwin@cqu.edu.au

Image Gallery
(Click on image thumbnail to see full-size image) (From left) JCU staff Kellie Johns, Stephen Anderson, Bronwyn Mathieson and David Lindsay; CQU academic Adele Baldwin, and Ed via Skype at the project's launch on January 31.