Online course in Politics & the Modern World

Foundations in Dementia

Discover better ways to support people with dementia. Explore signs and symptoms, interventions, support networks and more.

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $74 Find out more

Gain expert knowledge and skills to care for individuals living with dementia

Dementia is becoming more common worldwide. On this course, you will learn to understand people with dementia and to care appropriately as a professional or family supporter. Spanning six topics from prevention and diagnosis to end of life care, the course also offers insights from recent research.

Whatever your role in dementia care, by engaging with the resources and exchanging views with others, you will gain knowledge, skills, and confidence in dealing with people with dementia. Some of the material is specific to England and Wales, such as the legal context and health service provision.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsDementia is a progressive and incurable brain disorder that presents a major challenge for society. As populations age, the number of people affected by dementia increase. People affected include individuals with the condition, but dementia also affects family members who support them and the communities where they live. The good news is that with support, people can live a relatively normal life at home with dementia, often for many years. But in order to enable them to achieve this aim, employers, local government, services, and community groups have to understand the needs of people with dementia. As impairments of dementia become more pronounced, health and social care providers need to offer timely and skilled interventions that can anticipate needs so that crisis can be avoided.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsSo dementia affects many people in the community. This course has been developed to meet the learning requirements for health and social care professionals who work with people with dementia. In addition, it will be useful to family carers, friends, concerned neighbours, and dementia volunteers. In 6 2-hour units, this course will help you to understand dementia from the first signs until the end of life. It shows what makes good care practice from start to finish. Whether you are a paid professional, volunteer, family member, friend, or neighbour, this course will give you the confidence to provide effective support for people with dementia.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1 - Inside the brain
  • Week 2 - Assessment and treatment
  • Week 3 - Law and ethics
  • Week 4 - Communication skills
  • Week 5 - Family and friends
  • Week 6 - Living well with dementia and end of life care

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify how lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of dementia
  • Assess the signs and symptoms that may indicate dementia and describe the pathway to diagnosis and treatment
  • Identify communication approaches which can support the person with dementia to communicate their needs
  • Debate ethical aspects of decision-making in the light of English laws and guidelines (Mental Capacity Act 2005, Carers Act 2014 etc)
  • Describe the impact of caring on family supporters
  • Explore the meaning of person-centred care in view of the diversity of people with dementia and their supporters, while reflecting on the influence of one’s own culture, beliefs and values at all stages of dementia
  • Demonstrate awareness of what it means to live well with dementia and the contribution of assistive technology in everyday care
  • Assess strategies for pain management in palliative care and discuss how Advanced Decisions/Directives may be used in practice
  • Apply evidence from research to support effective care for people with dementia
  • Compare the impact of different interventions including medication and psychosocial approaches

Who is the course for?

This course would suit health and social care professionals (e.g. nurses, doctors, therapists and social workers). It will also interest students, carers of people with dementia, individuals with a recent diagnosis, volunteers, and dementia researchers.

Who will you learn with?

Justine Schneider

Justine Schneider

A social researcher in dementia for over 25 years, I also trained and practised as a social worker. I have over 100 peer-reviewed papers based on collaborative research in numerous studies.

Jo Rutt

Jo Rutt

I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham. I am part of a team currently developing a course around Dementia Care.

Sarah Goldberg

Sarah Goldberg

A registered nurse and academic in dementia. I collaborate on a number of research studies which aim to improve the health and quality of life of people living with dementia.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

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