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This content is taken from the Newcastle University's online course, Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsHello. And welcome to our course. I'm Louise Robinson. I'm a GP and Professor of Primary Care and Ageing at Newcastle University. And I'll be guiding you through this course. Over the next three weeks, we're going to look at some of the areas that carers and health care professionals find very important as dementia progresses. This will include having discussions about planning ahead, looking at how we ensure comfort for the person with dementia, and some of the areas where we need to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia. We'll look at what it means for a person living with dementia to have care and comfort and the role that we play in helping to achieve this.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsWe'll be talking to experts in dementia care who can help us understand the progression of dementia and how health care professionals can support people living with the illness and their families. We'll also be talking to people who have personal experience of caring for someone with dementia, who will share their experiences and offer practical advice around caring and how to take care of yourself, as well, as a carer. Throughout the course, there'll be lots of opportunities for you to share your own experiences and insights so that we can learn together.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsThis week, we'll be focusing on conversations around care and comfort, looking at dementia as a progressive illness, and discussing why future planning is important and how we can plan ahead for comfort. We'll also look at decision making for and with someone living with dementia and what it means to make a decision in someone's best interests. In Week 2, we'll be talking about how we can ensure care and comfort and thinking about this in terms of physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and consider the ongoing changes in the person's memory and thinking. We'll then talk about comfort care planning and provide a tool that you can use to write a comfort care plan.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 secondsIn the final week, we'll be focusing on you and how you can look after yourself and identify where you can seek help and support as a carer. We hope you find this course gives you confidence and helps you to plan ahead and prepare for the future.

Welcome to the course

Professor Dame Louise Robinson of Newcastle University welcomes you to our course, Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses. She explains what we hope to help you learn and achieve by completing our course.

Louise is a General Practitioner (GP) and lead researcher in dementia care. She has led a team of researchers from Newcastle University and other universities to explore improving care for people with dementia as their condition progresses.

This course is based on the findings from our 5-year research programme called the SEED project. The aim of this project was to improve care towards end of life for people with dementia and their carers.

This research was conducted in the UK, so for international learners, healthcare professionals may have different roles and titles. Healthcare systems and organisations may also be different. However, the key principles and messages should be applicable to learners everywhere.

We hope you enjoy learning with us.


We will explain technical terms as we progress through the course. If there are terms that you are unfamiliar with do have a look in the course glossary. You might like to keep this to hand as you progress through the course.

Taking part

We encourage you to take an active part in the course by adding comments and replying to those made by others. Sharing experiences may be helpful to you, and your comments and replies may help others. Please be sensitive as other people may have very different stories to tell from your own.

This course has been designed and developed by healthcare professionals, carers and families of people with dementia. However, course educators are unable to respond individually to queries and we cannot give you advice about your own situation. If you need professional or clinical advice you should seek help from your local carers and healthcare workers. We hope that the information in our articles and videos gives you the confidence to seek advice and support from the professionals, services and organisations we signpost you to throughout the course. We also encourage learners to support each other through tips, comments and advice based on personal experiences.

You are able to benefit from the key features of this course for free. Videos are downloadable and resources are available to save and print. Upgrading your access at additional cost with Futurelearn is entirely optional.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

  • Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

  • A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses

Newcastle University