The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in collaboration with the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation’s Department of Social Welfare, organised a two-day workshop in Suva for employees caring for the elderly in state-homes around Fiji.
33 social welfare workers from Suva, Lautoka and Labasa were part of the professional development session at the Samabula Senior Citizen’s Home on 20-21 February.
APTC Trainer for Individual Support program, Ms Sandy O’Brien, who presented on elder abuse, shared that the objective of the training was to upskill staff working at aged care facilities in Fiji.
This included creating awareness on elder abuse in society where families and communities are not aware that their actions though unintended could bring harm to the elderly.
“We are working with the Department of Social Welfare to help upskill their staff and give them new skills. Many of the staff have been working at aged care facilities for years but they do not have any formal training; so this workshop gives them the opportunity for professional development,” Ms O’Brien said.
The Department of Social Welfare and APTC plan to hold similar workshops around the country.
APTC Alumni and Acting Senior Welfare Officer at Samabula Senior Citizen’s Home, Ms Neelum Kumar said such workshops are vital for the staff at aged care facilities.
“We also have people who are not carers but are involved in other duties at our facilities and this workshop is important because they are going to learn and not only apply it here but also in their communities,” Ms Kumar explained.
APTC’s Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) course addresses work primarily in residential facilities under direct or regular supervision within clearly defined organisation guidelines and service plans.