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Neurological Disorders: How to Provide Care

Gain the skills and confidence to provide care for people with neurological diseases as a caregiver or health professional.

1,147 enrolled on this course

Elderly man with a walking stick, sat talking to a nurse in a care home.

Neurological Disorders: How to Provide Care

1,147 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn more about duty of care for people with neurodegenerative diseases

Whether you’re a qualified nurse who has not previously worked in neurology, a health care assistant, volunteer, or a family caregiver, the challenge of providing care for people with long-term neurological disorders can be daunting.

This four-week course is designed to help take away the concerns over not understanding enough about the diagnosis and help you feel confident to provide the right type of care.

You’ll explore common anxieties associated with a caregiver role and learn how to overcome them including dealing with ethical dilemmas, defusing aggressive behaviour, and navigating difficult discussions such as end-of-life conversations.

You’ll also learn skills such as how to communicate reassuringly and how to help with activities of living such as washing and dressing, eating and drinking, and managing continence.

Grow your understanding of neurological disorders by exploring the pathophysiology

You’ll increase your understanding of the diagnosis of a degenerative neurological disorder by exploring the fundamentals of brain anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology.

This course has been developed as a collaborative project between the University of East Anglia School of Health Sciences, and the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses to help you embrace this dignified, valued, and crucial work with a level of confidence.

Supported by

NCWA Logo The Neurological Council of Western Australia is a not-for-profit supporting people with neurological symptoms or conditions across a vast state, to ensure equity of access and the best possible health and functional outcomes.


  • Week 1

    The Brain, Managing Safety and Comfort, Movement Control

    • Introduction

      In this first week, we will consider how an understanding of anatomy and physiology of the brain , and of its pathophysiology relates to experiences of living with neurological disorders.

    • The brain

      Topic one introduces you to some fundamental aspects of physiology and pathophysiology of the brain (that is how it works when functioning well and what can go wrong as parts are affected by various neurological disorders).

    • Managing safety and comfort

      Learn here from a team struggling to agree on how best to provide safety and comfort for a patient. Hear also about how to meet challenges involving refusal of interventions intended to ensure safety and comfort.

    • Movement control

      This topic focusses on how to understand problems with mobilising and how best to assist people who live with movement disorder as a result of a long-term neurological condition.

    • Spotlight on 3 conditions

      Every week we will consider 3 conditions that you are likely to come across. This week we are looking at Dystonia, Cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease.

  • Week 2

    Breathing and Speaking, Eating and Drinking, Promoting and Managing Continence

    • Breathing and speaking

      How does the brain keep us breathing? Which brain areas enable speech and understand of language? How are people damaged in those areas affected? What can we do to help? These are all aspects addressed in this topic.

    • Eating and drinking

      Learn problems many people with neurological conditions experience relating to eating and drinking. Appreciate ethical dilemmas that professionals may encounter and how to balance respect and choice with safety and accountability

    • Promoting and managing continence

      Problems with self-management of continence impact negatively on self-esteem and dignity. Practical social, physical and psychological harm can result. Learn here how to help maximise independence and minimise adverse effects.

    • Spotlight on 3 conditions

      Each week we turn the spotlight on three conditions. This week it is the turn of Alzheimer's, motor neurone disease and haemorrhagic stroke. At the end of your reading, check your understanding by taking the quiz.

  • Week 3

    Meaningful Days in Long-Term Care, Sexuality, Sleeping

    • Meaningful Days in Long-Term Care

      What makes life worth living? Needing to live in a long-term care facility because of a neurological problem should not mark the end of what matters to you and gives you a sense of purpose. This topic addresses this challenge.

    • Sexuality

      Neurological disease can impact physically, emotionally and socially on sexuality. This topic is designed to help you address difficulties that many patients and professionals regard as taboo even in this 21st century.

    • Sleeping

      Good comfortable sleep makes the day easier. Topic Nine addresses sleep problems experienced by people with neurological conditions, and ways to enhance sleep.

    • Spotlight on 3 conditions

      Each week we turn the spotlight on three conditions. This week it is the turn of ischaemic stroke, vascular dementia and epilepsy. At the end of your reading, check your understanding by taking the quiz.

  • Week 4

    Mental Health, End of Life Planning and Care, Tricky Ethical Decisions

    • Mental health

      Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and psychosis often occur among people living with neurological disorders. Topic ten considers promotion of good mental health and ways to relieve distress.

    • End of life planning and care

      This topic considers ways to prepare people with a long-term neurological condition practically and psychologically for the end of life. Collaborating with planning and the delivery of care are considered.

    • Tricky ethical decisions

      Supporting people with neurological conditions to make autonomous decisions sometimes seems at odd with our duty of care. This final topic explores ways to responsibly manage risk-taking to foster individuality.

    • Spotlight on 3 conditions

      In this final week we turn the spotlight on three more conditions, looking at peripheral neuropathy, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. At the end of your reading, check your understanding by taking the quiz.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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...

  • Understand fundamental brain anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology relating to common long-term and degenerative neurological disorders.
  • Reflect upon the perspectives of people directly affected by neurological disorders, their family members and health professionals regarding living with the conditions.
  • Promote mental health, appropriately recognise and respond to problems with sexuality, and support end of life planning for people with neurological disorders.
  • Assess ways to support people with neurological disorders; maintaining safety and comfort, movement control, breathing, speaking, eating and drinking, managing continence, and sleeping.
  • Demonstrate support for people with neurological disorders in making days meaningful.
  • Engage in processes towards addressing difficult ethical dilemmas.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone working or caring for people with neurological disorders.

You could be a family caregiver or a nurse/health care assistant working in long-term care facilities.

Who will you learn with?

I'm an Associate Professor at the University of East Anglia with 30 years experience of managing and teaching neurological nursing. I'm retiring soon but continuing input into this course.

Who developed the course?

UEA (University of East Anglia)

The University of East Anglia is an internationally renowned university providing top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 19 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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