Launch of New QQI Level 5 Certificate in Dementia Care Programme
In response to the increasing numbers of people living with dementia in Ireland, Leading Health Care Providers Skillnet, have developed a new blended programme in Dementia Care.
Up to 64,000 individuals currently live with dementia in Ireland and this number is projected to grow exponentially in the coming decades. According to Alzheimer Europe (2020) figures the number of people with the condition will more than double in the next 25 years to over 150,000 by 2045. Consequently, an urgent need exists for highly skilled and educated healthcare workers in dementia care to promote quality of life and wellbeing for all concerned, including family members.
The blended programme facilitates learners to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to achieve excellence in the delivery of dementia care. The programme offers a stimulating, yet flexible learning approach designed to meet the needs of contemporary adult learners. Learners interact with highly experienced tutors in the field, making learning stimulating and challenging. True to its participatory design, learners will learn from the lived experiences of people with a diagnosis of dementia, their families, and providers of contemporary services. The design of the programme facilitates a flexible yet structured forum to study. The course is delivered through LHP Skillnet’s Moodle eLearning platform. This allows students to complete much of the course at a time of their choosing. Each week, tutors will provide learners with study materials, activities, and tasks. These can take a variety of forms, for example, videos, discussion forums and live tutorials.
The programme is designed for Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) working in the health and social care sector in Ireland across all settings (i.e., acute, residential, nursing home or home care settings) who hold a minimum QQI Level 5 healthcare or related major awards (Healthcare Support, Health Services Skills, Nursing Studies, Community Care, Applied Social Studies). The programme will also be open to other healthcare professionals working in dementia care (for example nurses, occupational therapists, doctors, Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), and physiotherapists), who wish to enhance their skills and deepen their understanding of the specialist area of dementia care.
The blended programme is accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Successful students are awarded with the Certificate in Dementia Care (Level 5, Supplemental Award).
For those working in the private healthcare sector in Ireland, this course is part-funded by Skillnet Ireland.
According to course tutor, Dr Michael Brennan, “Continuing professional development involves a lifelong process of structured and informal learning. The issues of competence, accountability and autonomy place a further onus on the healthcare profession to develop their skills and knowledge to deal with the constantly changing health care environment. This course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to inform best professional practice and ultimately to the changing needs of people with a diagnosis of dementia and their families”.
Alzheimer Europe (2020) Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2019 ‘Estimating the prevalence of dementia in Europe’