Pilot project to train Elder Care Assistants

August 4, 2016

To face the challenge faced by the country in having the largest aging population in South Asia, the Prime Minister’ office yesterday announced the launching of a pilot project by the National Secretariat for Elders appointed by him to train Elder Care Assistants, according to a curriculum developed by it.

A communiqué issued by the PM’s office in this regard said: The need for quality care for elders is growing internationally, with demand increasing significantly in the developed world. With the largest aging population in South Asia, Sri Lanka too will be faced with urgent demand for elder care. In anticipation of this need the Government is taking action to ensure quality elder care throughout the country. Currently, demand for elder care services is inadequately fulfilled or fulfilled in an unstructured manner.

The National Secretariat for Elders and the Committee appointed by the Prime Minister has developed a curriculum for training Elder Care Assistants. This pilot project aims to:

  1. i) Train and provide quality Elder Care Assistants to reach the specified standards
  2. ii) Ensure Elder care needs are met

iii) Promote professional, safe, and caring elder care givers

  1. iv) Ensure quality assured standardised processes nationwide.

The development of the curriculum has included consultation with the National Secretariat for Elders, Helpage, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and the Vocational Training Authority (VTA).

The initial programme will consist of 112 hours of classroom, role play and practical internships. The programme will be conducted in a structured and progressive manner to enable the Elder Care Assistants to acquire skills that will be in demand in Sri Lanka and overseas. Through further training and practical experience they will have the opportunity to acquire higher levels of skill.

Training is supported by a training manual with a scientific approach to care giving, including physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects. The cycle of care giving will include pre-assessment, problem identification and prioritisation, setting objectives or targets, implementation of activities and outcome evaluation, including blended learning techniques through the use of digital technology.


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