Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsWelcome to our course. I'm Lynne Corner from Newcastle University, and I'll be guiding you through the four weeks. When we think about dementia, we usually think about memory. The term memory is used to describe a range of processes, our ability to find the right words, use the right language, make decisions, and how we interpret our senses.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 secondsEvery four seconds or the time it takes me to breathe in and out or blink, another person somewhere will be diagnosed with dementia.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsThere are 46 million people living with dementia across the globe. That's over seven million new cases every year. People are living longer, which of course is a really positive change. But for some, this means living longer with dementia. The worldwide cost of dementia are huge. Some estimates suggest $818 billion. The prevalence of dementia in developing countries is increasing faster than higher income countries. So the global challenge of finding ways to live well with dementia has never been more important. Though, most of the people living with dementia live in developing countries, most of the costs of dementia occur in Western Europe and North America mainly due to expensive medical and social care costs.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsSo dementia is an important global challenge because of its scale in terms of the growing number of people affected and the huge costs involved. If dementia was an economy, it would be bigger or on par with companies such as Apple and Google. And this is a very useful comparison because there has never been a more urgent time to develop innovative solutions and ideas to help people connect and communicate with dementia, especially as people are working longer and many friends and family of people with dementia are living in different regions even different countries. And so there's an urgency to help people to connect and care. Of course, the real cost of dementia is personal.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsThe nature of dementia as a progressive condition means that it can become increasingly difficult to communicate with the person with dementia and inevitably relationships change. In this course, we'll be talking to experts in dementia who can help us to understand what is happening in the brain and what's behind some of the more distressing symptoms. We'll also be talking to experts in communication, in speech, and language, who will be sharing insights on what might work to help us to continue to communicate. And of course, we'd be able to share together our ideas and insights as friends, family of people with dementia, and carers, so that we can learn together how we can continue to connect and live well with dementia.

Dementia: A global challenge and personal reality

We are facing a global challenge to find a cure, improve treatments, and ensure we have enough resources to enable people to live well with dementia.

The World Health Organisation has described dementia as ‘one of the major health challenges of our generation’.

An estimated 46 million people worldwide live with dementia, and as we are living in an ageing population, this is set to increase. China, India and South Asia are seeing the biggest growth in the incidence of dementia. This growth has brought increasing awareness of dementia. But this been accompanied by depictions of the challenge as akin to a ‘silent tsunami’, ‘crisis’, or a ‘creeping shadow’.

As carers, we think about the challenge of dementia a little differently. Carers commonly describe feeling like they’re on an uncertain journey or drifting, that they are playing a waiting game, or feel they are losing their connections, like sand running through their hands. So while carer descriptions of dementia are not as negative or as fearful as the metaphors we might come across in newspapers or policy reports, there is an acknowledgement that life can become much more difficult for those who live with the condition.

In this course, our focus is on the personal realities of dementia for those affected. We’ll be thinking about dementia’s effect upon the person, on our personal relationships and on the activities of daily living. Our aim is to share ideas and insights as family, friends and carers so that we can learn together how to connect and live well with dementia.

Would you like a certificate?

Some learners will benefit from being able to document that they have participated on this course and engaged with the content.

This course will give you the opportunity to purchase a Certificate of Achievement. The Certificate of Achievement is a great way to prove what you have learned on the course and as evidence of your Continuing Professional Development. This is a personalised certificate and transcript, detailing the learning outcomes from the course. It comes as a printed certificate as well as a digital version which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. To qualify, you must have marked at least 90% of the steps in the course complete.

Statement of Participation

There’s also an option to purchase a personalised Statement of Participation to celebrate taking part in Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well. To be eligible for the Statement of Participation, you must mark at least 50% of the steps on the course as complete. This also comes in a printed and digital format and you can add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Mark as Complete

When you reach the end of a step, click the pink Mark as Complete button at the bottom. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your To Do list.

The next step will take you to a short guide on how to use FutureLearn.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

Newcastle University

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