Dementia friendly approach to the hospital experience

Photo: Facilitators, Clare Drew and Zelka Popovic with participants at the Westmead Hospital pilot workshop

A new education package has been released that aims to improve the care of people living with dementia in hospital and Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) settings.

The “Insights into the Hospital Dementia Experience” training package was developed by Dementia Australia with funding from the Department of Social Services. A reference group of dementia specialists and, consumers helped guide the project and the evaluation, which was conducted by Dr Samantha Abbato. The workshop is built upon the Experiencing Dementia simulation and debriefing workshop developed originally by Bundoora Aged Care in Victoria.

During the trial period, 211 staff participated in 18 workshops across nine hospital and MPS sites in NSW. The evaluation demonstrated that staff gained greater empathy for people with dementia who were admitted into their care. The vast majority of participants claimed an improved confidence in communicating with a person with dementia, leading to many positive changes to their daily practices and increased job satisfaction.

The workshop toolkit has now been approved by the Department and is available to all suitably qualified and experienced health educators in Australian hospitals / MPS. The educators are able to use the toolkit resources to facilitate their own workshops at their worksites, allowing for a more sustainable rollout across the country.

The workshop toolkit is a free resource for educators in the hospital/acute care sector and is available through an application process at the link below.

Any questions about the training package toolkit can be directed to Judy Bartholomew: 0418 412 127 or email