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Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

An award-winning course, to help carers stay connected to loved ones, manage stress at home, and defuse difficult situations.

28,152 enrolled on this course

Dementia care: a paper chain of people holding hands
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

If you are a carer for a person living with dementia then this is a course for you.

When it comes to understanding and supporting a person living with dementia, family carers are very often the most skilled and knowledgeable. Yet, you will know that carers can face a number of really stressful situations that can be difficult to deal with.

Get advice on connecting with and caring for someone with dementia

This course will provide you with knowledge and advice that can help you connect with and care for someone living with dementia. We will focus on everyday experiences that are seen as particularly challenging and stressful, such as combining employment with caring for someone living with dementia.

Newcastle University has great expertise in ageing and dementia research. We specialise in understanding dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), so this course will shine a light on some of the stressful symptoms and communication problems associated with this condition. It will also cover the challenges of other types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Meet other dementia carers and academic experts

Over the three weeks, you will meet other carers and academic experts who have developed strategies and practical steps to improve communication - something which is crucially important for building and maintaining relationships and for effectively negotiating daily life.

By the end of the course, you will develop a new understanding of:

  • the brain and different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB),
  • what a person with dementia is experiencing,
  • challenging situations and behaviours that can cause carer stress,
  • strategies for improving verbal and non-verbal communication.
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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Dementia is a global challenge. With a rapidly-aging population, more of us will experience dementia either ourselves or have family members and friends who are living with dementia. Some estimates suggest that by 2030 there will be nearly 75 million people living with dementia across the world. I’m Dr. Lynne Corner from Newcastle University, and on this course, we’ll explore together more about just why dementia matters. Here at Newcastle University, we are world leading in our research into dementia with Lewy bodies, the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. We’ll talk about some of the stressful symptoms that people with dementia and their carers live with, including memory loss, difficulty finding words, experiencing visual hallucinations, fluctuating attention, and sleep disturbance.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds The nature of dementia means that things we take for granted in our everyday life, such as having a conversation, or expressing what’s important to us, what we enjoy, what we want to do, can be really difficult. We’ll exchange practical tips and positive strategies with experts in communication and dementia to help us as carers, friends, and family identify and understand what a person with dementia might be experiencing. Our aim is to improve communication and help us build and maintain relationships and connections that are just so fundamental to all our well being and happiness. You’ll be able to actively bring your own experiences, insights, and ideas and discuss and debate these issues with your fellow learners and experts throughout the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds So please join us. Sign up for this course as we discover together how to stay connected and live well with dementia.

What topics will you cover?

  • Changing understandings of dementia
  • Types and symptoms of dementia
  • Structure and functions of the brain
  • Characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Ongoing inner life and the concept of personhood
  • Understanding communication (channels, modes and contexts)
  • Reflecting on the caring role (experiences, stresses and self-compassion)
  • Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and the concept of ‘time shift’
  • Understanding the communication challenges of dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Reflecting on caring at a distance
  • Activities of daily living and dementia (focusing on mealtimes and using the bathroom)
  • Understanding challenging behaviour
  • Identifying unmet need
  • Avoiding confrontation
  • Exploring assistive technologies to improve communication
  • Sharing insights to support future care innovations

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Describe the different forms of dementia including the distinctive characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Explore the communication challenges affecting carers of people with dementia
  • Improve strategies for verbal and non-verbal communication between carers and people with dementia
  • Explain how to handle challenging situations that can cause carer stress
  • Contribute to ideas for innovation and better communication

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for the family, friends and carers of people with dementia.

This course and its related course Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses won the Outstanding Educational Resource award at the National Dementia Awards.

Who will you learn with?

Director of Engagement at Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Faculty of Medical Sciences. I direct the Dementia Innovation Hub and VOICENorth - actively involving the public in our work.

Who developed the course?

Newcastle University

A thriving international community of over 20,000 students. The university’s mission as a world-class civic university means it applies its academic excellence to real-world challenges.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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