“It can only be invaluable”: Innovative new app launched to support home care workers

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With the support of Gandel Philanthropy, Dementia Australia has launched an innovative mobile app that improves quality of care for people living with dementia by building the skills of home support and community care workers.  

Ask Annie was designed in collaboration with community care workers like Anthony, who says it is a great tool to provide that extra bit of assistance to home care workers who are always on the go.

“You’re working under pressure to deliver a service so there are time constraints and you’re always wanting to respect the needs and desires of your clients at the best of times and you don’t want to be impeding on their space and their surroundings – trying to make them as comfortable as possible,” he said.

“As a support worker, we’re there to give assistance to our clients and if we can get assistance ourselves in the way we do our job and try different things I think that can only be a positive and a benefit.

“Ask Annie can provide that extra bit of assistance that a support worker might need in their daily tasks – a different approach, different method and greater assistance out there in the workplace.”

‘Annie’ is a virtual community care worker providing dementia care at home. She guides users through a range of scenarios, based on real life experiences, to strengthen their dementia care skills. 

The app is an easy to use, convenient training tool, that provider organisations can purchase as a multi-licence package for their staff to access anywhere and anytime.

There are more than 130,000 people working in home support and community care across Australia, and they play a vital role for people living with dementia, their families and carers. 

“Ask Annie is an excellent tool to provide extra assistance, an extra avenue of support that they might need if they’re encountering issues with a client or within the workplace so I think it can only be invaluable for a support worker to use,” Anthony said.

Ask Annie can be purchased through Dementia Australia's Centre for Dementia Learning here: dementialearning.org.au/askannie.

The Centre for Dementia Learning also provides education for those working in residential aged care.

If you’re a carer or a person living with dementia, for information and support visit https://www.dementia.org.au/helpline