U-First! is an education program that was developed for use in the long term care sector, as part of the Ontario government’s multi-year provincial Alzheimer Strategy. The U-First! curriculum covers information about the symptoms of Alzheimer Disease and how caregivers can think through and respond to the changing needs of people with the disease. One of the innovations of the program is the U-First! wheel, which facilitates understanding of the whole person and the development of effective intervention strategies.
The Ontario Partnership realized that U-First! might also be an appropriate resource for the developmental services sector. A task group was formed to review the curriculum for its suitability with developmental services staff. Representatives of the continuum of seniors supports and services and developmental services also submitted themselves to the program to see how it might work as a cross sector training tool. Findings indicate that the U-First! curriculum offers a means to build a common cross sector knowledge base and common language based on shared values.
Each of the OPADD regions has put in place, U-First trainers. These trainers are paired (one from long term care and one from developmental services) to deliver the curriculum to workers from both sectors. Trainers are now available within each region to continue the cross sector delivery of the curriculum.
To find out more about U-First! availability in your region, contact one of the Co-Chairs in your respective OPADD region.
Me and U-First! – Free eight module e-learning online: Me and U-First! is a flexible and user-friendly internet-based free course designed specifically for front-line caregivers such as Personal Support Workers, family members, volunteers and others interested in learning how to better understand and care for people with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias. For more information contact The Ontario Alzheimer Society.
More information about U-First! can also be found by clicking here.