We are pleased to announce that a collaboration involving Western University’s Sam Katz Community Health and Aging Research Unit and McCormick Dementia Services has received funding to support further research into a specialized dementia training program for personal support workers. The Be EPIC training program has received a $1.44 million grant from the Future Skills Centre that will support the development and testing of the project, along with researching the factors that facilitate its successful implementation.
According to the centre’s announcement, “Be EPIC is an innovative program that trains personal support workers caring for persons living with dementia. Many PSWs are at mid-career, having transitioned from other sectors, and few have received adequate dementia skills development training. Canada’s population of people living with dementia is increasing rapidly, and communicating about their care needs can be difficult. Care that is not person-centered is task-focused and can result in expressions of distress by persons living with dementia, sometimes leading to elder abuse. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to invest in PSWs as key members of health care teams and providers of meaningful social interaction for persons living with dementia.”