Caring for people with dementia requires specialized communication skills training. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals and family caregivers often receive little training to enable them to meet the communicative needs of people with dementia.
Research has shown that communication skills training in dementia care significantly improves the quality of life and well being of people with dementia and increases positive interactions in various care settings. Communication skills training shows significant impact on professional and family caregivers’ communication skills, competencies, and knowledge.
As we look at the look at the vast growth taking place across the spectrum of those serving older adults, in addition to the health and long-term care fields. Communication skills training is being implemented by EMS professionals, Social Work, Case Management, Chaplains and Volunteer workers and to the broader community of those serving older adults in a wide variety of capacities. Financial advisors, insurance personnel, retail, and banking are all seeing a rising need for communication skills training to better serve their older adult customer base that often is living with dementia or other cognitive impairments.
Key qualities for those directly serving the elderly and aging populations are
1. communication skills
3. physical stamina.
With the growing demand for in-home care services, home health aides and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), communications skills training is more important than ever so they are well prepared to care for the high percentage of people living with dementia. These are high demand professions and one of the fastest growing occupations projected. Already, in many areas of the US and around the world, shortages and the consequences of these staffing challenges are affecting the quality of care.
Quality communication skills training, starting with awareness and empathy training will better prepare our health care teams, retailers, legal and financial advisors, faith communities and first responders to face the already ballooning numbers of aging adults who deserve better care and certainly more respect here and around the globe.
Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute and a passionate advocate for older adults and those who serve them. Pam is the creator of the internationally recognized Dementia Live® awareness and simulation training program.