Home and community care workers will be able build their dementia skills with a new mobile app launched by dementia Australia.

Maree McCabe

The Ask Annie app was designed in collaboration with home care workers to refresh skills and offer new tips and techniques for people involved in caring with people living with dementia.

It provides a series of learning modules that guide users through various scenarios they are likely to encounter in real life.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says almost half a million Australians are currently living with dementia and that figure is projected to increase to more than 1 million by 2058.

“Our community needs a greater focus on quality dementia care and ensuring continued training and support is available for the workforce,” she said in a statement.

BlueCross general manager Bridget Howes believes Ask Annie will be an effective way of boosting the skills of  home support and community care workers.

“The fact that it’s accessible on a mobile phone and the tablets our home care workers use at work makes it really convenient, she said.

“It means if one of our home carers has questions about how to care for a client living with dementia, like mealtimes or showering, they could take a few minutes before they arrive at their home to brush up on some tips that could help alleviate any challenges that may arise in the situation.”

The app was developed by Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute and received funds from Gandel Philanthropy.

CEO Vedran Drakulic says the app is an example of technology being applied to improve dementia care.

Gandel looked forward to supporting the development of other online learning systems to improve dementia care, Mr Drakulic said.

Providers can purchase the app roviders as a multi-licence package for all their staff to use through Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning.

“Once the team member signs up to the app, Annie is there to provide encouragement, tips and to offer ongoing training that is accessible whenever the care worker wants to schedule in a quick 10 or 15 minute check-in – across the country,” Ms McCabe said in a statement.

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