What you will study
This 50-hour multimedia online course is focused on dementia care. In the course of your studies, you will develop an understanding of:
- the medical and physiological dimensions of dementia including symptoms, changes in the brain, diagnosis and medication
- the experience of dementia in relation to memory, identity and social relationships
- a person-centred approach to meeting the needs of the person with dementia
- the impact of the design of the physical environment
- how organisational cultures shape the quality of care and
- decision making, capacity, consent and risk.
The course aims to help practitioners and carers understand the principles and issues behind practice in order to reflect upon the ‘messy reality’ of dementia care. The course is aimed at a diverse, multi-professional audience comprising of both ‘support worker’ level practitioners (such as health care assistants or care workers), registered practitioners, carers and those with a general interest in the topic. Recognising the diverse roles and settings of students, the course will guide you through a process of reflection and action planning in relation to your particular context.
You will learn by working through online learning guides. Assuming no prior knowledge, you are supported to build your understanding of dementia care by working step-by-step through online activities, real accounts from practitioners, carers and people with dementia. The study of audio-visual material and written case studies from practice are a central feature of the course. You will also be directed to web resources to develop an understanding of relevant procedures or services.
A Learning Advisor will also be available to you via a forum on the website, to answer questions and provide advice on the course learning resources and help you apply your learning to your workplace.
By the end of this course you should have developed knowledge and understanding of:
- the medical and physiological dimensions of dementia in relation to symptoms, changes in the brain and medication
- the personal experience of dementia in relation to memory, identity, social relationships
- person-centred care of people with dementia and the role of the family
- how the physical environment affects the person with dementia and how its design can improve their experience
- decision making in partnership with people with dementia which supports autonomy
- how organisational cultures shape the care of people with dementia.
At the end of this course you should have developed the skills to:
- integrate different experiences of dementia and the associated caring practices with theoretical knowledge
- critically reflect on and develop practice and care in order to meet the needs of people with dementia
- develop the capacity to make decisions in partnership with people with dementia
- respond appropriately to the needs of people with dementia
- take responsibility for your own learning and/or continuing professional development.
This course will require around 50 hours of your time in total. The strong link between course learning and your work practice creates relevant, enduring and transferable outcomes – and the learning is far richer than more expensive one-to-three day workshops. Register online today and start tomorrow – no need to wait!
The course features the distinctive strengths of The Open University (OU) from its years of expertise in supporting learning. You'll benefit from:
- the convenience of accessing its clearly presented and sequenced materials and activities whenever suits you and wherever you have access to the protected course website – if you prefer, you can print key materials to work on them offline. Note taking templates are available and saved for you in the virtual learning environment.
- receiving a Statement of Participation which includes your grade based upon a computer marked test. You can use this to demonstrate your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to your employer and/or professional body. (N.B. The course does not carry academic credits.)
Some of the pages within the module contain links to external sites. Accessing these sites is part of the allocated study time for the module. You may also wish to undertake additional background study or reading if some of the concepts introduced are completely unfamiliar to you.
The course focuses on person-centred practice and is highly relevant to staff working at all levels in health and social care (registered staff and non-registered support staff), those directly involved in frontline care and those who need to understand the sensitivities and challenges entailed in supporting people with dementia and supporting their families and carers. Participants will establish a strong link between what they learn and their work practice.
The way the course is delivered means it is accessible to people working in acute, community and domiciliary settings; staff have access to learning at any time that suits them (24/7) and can refer back to case studies, guidance and learning points at any time – even after they have completed study. This ensures that outcomes from study can be applied in practice long after the course has been completed. We are proud of the way the course creates relevant, enduring and transferable outcomes for health and social care service.
Completion of the course enables us to recognise your work through an OU statement of participation that you can use to document your commitment to continuing professional development in your personal portfolio, or to provide evidence to employers or professional body.