A free, online course for family carers of people living with dementia, and health and social care professionals, has been launched by Newcastle University and FutureLearn.
"Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses" has been designed to help carers develop an understanding of the progression of dementia and the steps that they can be take to anticipate and prepare for people's future needs.
Dementia specialist Admiral Nurse, Sharron Tolman, one of a range of professionals who helped consult on the content of the course, explains more about it in an interview on Dementia UK's website...
What do you hope participants will people gain from the course?
"We understand families facing dementia can often feel ill-equipped to manage the complexities of the condition. It can be particularly emotionally and physically taxing during the end of life stage of dementia, which is what this course seeks to address.
Through videos, quizzes and articles as well as a forum to share views and experience, family carers and health and social care professionals now have a platform to build up confidence in this area."
What kind of topics will be covered in the course?
"The course will help learners to:
- understand dementia as a progressive illness, and anticipate what symptoms the person they care for might develop
- plan for those future changes and any decisions they might need to make about care or treatment
- meet the person with dementia’s changing needs, so that they can help maintain their quality of life and comfort
- and recognise their own needs as a carer and how to seek support"
How long does the course take, and can people complete it in their own time?
"The course runs over three weeks, and completing each week will take around three hours.
We recognise that family carers as well as health and social care professionals have extremely demanding schedules. This is why the course can be completed in bite-sized chunks, and you can save your progress so you can easily pick up where you left off."
What kind of involvement did you have in the course?
"As a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse, I was able to share my experience in supporting families and people with advanced dementia at end of life, which then informed the course content. It was a truly collaborative effort with involvement from a range of other health and social care professionals as well as family carers."
How can you sign up for the course?
Visit the Future Learn website to view the information trailer to find out more about the course and then sign up. The course is free to access online, and will be available to you for 5 weeks once you have signed up, allowing you to take part in your own time and at your own speed.