NSW Dementia training

NSW bus drivers will be trained in Dementia awareness to ensure equal access to public transport

NSW Dementia training
NSW Dementia training

NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian at the launch of the program last week

September 23, 2013

Dementia awareness training is being introduced for public transport staff in New South Wales in what is being hailed as a major step forward for people with dementia.

The initiative has been endorsed and undertaken by Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian, Transport for NSW and the NSW Taxi Council.

Alzheimer’s Australia New South Wales Chief Executive Officer John Watkins says the move will go a long way to helping ensure the estimated 109,000 people with dementia will feel supported while travelling within their communities.

"This is a significant step by both the State Government and the NSW Taxi Council to ensure the increasing numbers of people with dementia are not discriminated against and feel confident in having the same access to transport as everyone else," he says.

"We are told by our members that catching public transport can be, at times, confusing and confronting for a person with dementia.

"People with dementia have a right to equal access to the services that we all enjoy in the community."

The resource - named Is it Dementia? - is a world-first in awareness training and has been developed by the organisation and funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.

The aim is to increase awareness among frontline staff of the challenges often experienced by people with dementia, including confusion and disorientation.

The resource features 12 short scenarios with interactions between frontline service staff and people with dementia in various settings, and suggested ways to support the person to get them safely to their destination.

Transport for NSW will include the training for all new customer-facing staff with the State Transit Authority and Sydney and NSW Trains from November.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook