TAFE NSW is offering a free dementia support course for frontline staff working in residential and community aged care covering the latest in dementia care and responding to challenging behaviours.

The course is aimed at people who hold a certificate III or higher in an area of direct client care, but those who have substantial related experience – as a paid or unpaid carer – may also be eligible.

Students will gain an understanding of dementia and learn enhanced skills to provide care to those living with the disease, as well as latest techniques, research and approaches.

The course is fully subsidised by the NSW Government which means there is no enrolment fee.

Margaret Murphy, acting head teacher at St George TAFE Community Services and former community and residential aged care nurse, said the course looked at person-centred approaches, communication strategies and how to identify unmet needs of the person.

It also covered self-care, which was essential given care workers were often time poor and working in challenging circumstances.

“It’s all very well to say to someone ‘don’t take it personally’, but when you’re on the other end of challenging behaviours it can be quite confronting,” Ms Murphy told Community Care Review.

There are four units that make up the course:

  • Provide support to people living with dementia – CHCAGE005
  • Develop strategies to address unmet demand – CHCCCS008
  • Facilitate responsible behaviour – CHCCCS009
  • Respond effectively to behaviours of concern – ChCCCS020

Some care workers may use the course as a stepping stone to higher-level qualifications as it can provide credit towards qualifications in community services at certificate IV and diploma level.

Ms Murphy said the course can be delivered in the workplace or at TAFE.

“We’re using the blended learning approach, with elements delivered online which are reinforced by face-to-face workshops that can be delivered at TAFE or at an aged care workplace, depending on the needs of the aged care provider,” she said.

For more information or to register interest in the course email: margaret.e.murphy@tafensw.edu.au

To subscribe to CCR please visit http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/subscribe-to-ccr/

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi,

    I am a case manager working for Northern Health- Home Care Packages. I would like to express my interest in doing this course. Can I just find out how long the course takes and whether it can be done as a correspondence.

    Many thanks!

  2. Hi
    I am interested in this interesting course you have available, will this course be available in Dubbo or Orange Tafe NSW ? or correspondence.

    Many Thanks
    Donna Newton

  3. Iam very much interested in doing this course, i work in aged care as a PCW and find some of the behaviours quite challenging it would be very helpful for me to learn more on ways on how to handle challenging behaviours in a safe and understanding manner,

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