Understanding dementia aids care providers

April 13, 2017 | News

In a series of training needs assessments conducted by SafeCare BC over the past few years, care providers reported having a lack of training when it came to understanding dementia and how best to provide care. To satisfy this growing demand for dementia education, SafeCare BC, in cooperation with AGE Inc., recently piloted coach training for Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) for SafeCare BC members.

This past week saw eleven participants, representing six organizations (including long-term care, community/home care, and independent/assisted living) take the two-day course, with all of them opting to take part in SafeCare BC’s secondment model. This means they will be providing training both within their organization and for other SafeCare BC members. We’d like to acknowledge the passion these individuals have in expanding their skills in dementia care, and educating others.


“I believe GPA Coach Training was very relevant and applicable to the challenges that we encounter daily caring for residents. What I really liked is that the training is a complete package, which is research based and readily available to implement.”

-Carol Odagiri, Facility Coordinator – WeCare


What is GPA?

Gentle Persuasive Approaches uses a person-centred, compassionate and gentle persuasive approach to respond respectfully and with confidence and skill to behaviors associated with dementia.

The objectives of the approach are to:

  • Understand that an individual with dementia is a unique person capable of interacting with the outside world.
  • Explain the relationship between the disease process and the person’s behavioural response.
  • Apply emotional, environmental, and interpersonal communication strategies to prevent and diffuse responsive behaviours.
  • Demonstrate suitable and respectful techniques to use in situations of risk.

In the coming year, SafeCare BC will support the roll-out of the Gentle Persuasive Approaches curriculum, as part of its strategy to provide dementia care training to workers in the continuing care sector. SafeCare BC is seeking to establish networks of regional GPA coaches who may be used to provide GPA training both within and outside of their organization as part of a secondment.