Students interacting with dementia patients received training on interpersonal communication strategies through an education program called the Gentle Persuasive Approach.
The education program, made possible through RTOERO Foundation donor contributions, taught 78 students to assess and understand the impact of Gentle Persuasive Approach. Immediately after the program, students showed a significant increase in scores for dementia knowledge, confidence, competencies and caring measures.
Program leads describe an example of the approach in action: “One resident was unable to find the shoes she wanted and was becoming increasingly anxious. I asked why she needed the shoes, hoping to provide her with an alternative. The resident felt the shoes she was wearing were too slippery, was afraid she was going to fall, and thought no one was going to listen to her. I gave her a different pair of shoes that addressed her concern and she was no longer upset and angry.”
Overall, findings suggest that this program is an effective way to teach dementia care skills to postsecondary healthcare students and improve their future clinical practice.