We spoke to Consultant Admiral Nurse, Sharron Tolman, around this new free online course for family carers of people living with dementia and health and social care professionals.
The course has been developed by Newcastle University and led by Dame Professor Louise Robinson. It launched this week.
What do you hope this course will achieve?
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
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.
Will people be able to complete the course 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.
And finally, when and how can people sign up to the course?
You can sign up now and view our trailer which explains more. The course will be open for sign up for 6 weeks. Once signed up, you have access to the course for 5 weeks.
*An example of a word cloud within the course – an interactive step which encourages carers to share their thoughts and feelings
The Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline is for anyone with a question or concern about dementia