More than 300 general practitioners, nurses and other health professionals completed an online dementia education module during the second half of 2017.
The eLearning Dementia Education Resource for GPs and Practice Nurses was created to support early diagnosis and effective management of dementia and has received positive feedback from across the country since it was launched last year.
Dr Yoram Barak, a consultant psychogeriatrician at Dunedin Public Hospital, completed the module in April 2017. He says the psychosocial aspects of management and care of his dementia patients in his own practice has since improved.
“Regarding issues such as end-of-life decisions and driving, the module has made me a lot more aware of the psychosocial and family relationship issues. I think in a sense, the module is holistic, as it doesn’t just talk about the medical model of looking at dementia, but it extends into the biosocial model of caring for dementia patients,” he says.
“It’s such an advantage as there is so much more to it than just a brain disorder. It affects relationships and causes other issues that go way beyond damaged neurons. It’s about engaging with patients and their families in a broader sense about what dementia means for themselves and their loved ones, and how we can support them through that.”