Dementia Australia launches new workforce training app

Thursday, 07 April, 2022

Dementia Australia launches new workforce training app

Dementia Australia has launched a new app, called Ask Annie, which offers short, self-paced learning modules to help care workers refresh their skills and learn tips and tools to provide better care to people living with dementia.

‘Annie’ is a virtual care worker providing support to a person living with dementia. She guides users through a range of scenarios to strengthen their dementia care skills. The app is available for individual download with three free introductory modules.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM said the app was designed in collaboration with care workers and improves quality of care for people living with dementia by improving the skills of care workers.

“In support of the aged-care sector, we are gifting the first three introductory modules, including 22 lessons, in appreciation for everything they have done for our most vulnerable Australians including managing workforce issues during an incredibly challenging time,” McCabe said.

The app was developed by Dementia Australia with Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) through the ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living, with the support of Gandel Foundation.

Gandel Foundation CEO Vedran Drakulic OAM said Ask Annie showcases how technology can be applied to improve dementia education and aged care in Australia.

“Ask Annie provides workers in the aged-care industry with the opportunity to receive dementia-specific training that is practical, accessible and flexible enough to fit into their demanding days,” Drakulic said.

The app’s vision was to create an immersive learning experience that directly leads to learning outcomes that can be translated into everyday practice.

Aged-care provider BlueCross has purchased Ask Annie for around 150 staff members. “We provide ongoing training for our workforce, but something like Ask Annie is available 24/7 so you can refer to the app to get the tips that you need, right there in the moment, on your device,” said Blue Cross Nursing Services and Workforce Manager Jacqui Simao.

The app can be downloaded individually via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to access the first three modules. To unlock the full application with access to all modules, the cost is $60 per person per year, with multi-license packages available for organisations.

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