The dementias affect millions of people deeply affecting the lives of their loved ones. Good care has been proven to have a significant effect on the quality of life of a person with a dementia. To ensure good care, staff must be thoroughly and continually trained and educated by qualified and well-prepared professionals.

Unlike most chronic and long-term illnesses, dementia primarily affects the brain. Memory loss is irreversible, depression is common and behavioural symptoms such as screaming, searching for someone, overacting to stress, and resisting care are evidence of the distress it causes. Dementia changes a person’s understanding of the need for care, devastates relationships, and results in behaviours that are difficult for caregivers to understand and manage.

Many of those with a dementia eventually need formal care – home care, day care, residential or nursing care. The majority of care in such settings is provided by care assistants, support workers, assistant practitioners etc, under the supervision of nurses in some, but not all settings. Despite limitations in resources, training must assist direct care staff in changing their behaviour not just their knowledge base. The goal of this specifically designed and developed ‘educational’ programme is to address the gap between the available knowledge base and the care actually provided, thus opening a door to learning that works in the workplace.

This is an intense three-day programme, one day per month. Delegates must sign up for all three days. Each day commences at 09.30 and ends at 17.00 at Lanner Band Hall. Refreshments provided. Bring lunch.

Indicative content:

Tuesday 15th August, Day 1 – Helping the person by understanding the problem. The human brain explained & the role of brain damage. Normal forgetfulness. Definition and impact of a dementia. Different types of dementias. Diagnosis / evaluation / causes. Abilities commonly impaired in different types of dementia. The voice & experience of the person with a dementia. Experiencing various losses. Limiting demands on lost functions. Experiencing different types of dementia. Tips to implement in practice.

Tuesday 12th September, Day 2 – The progression of different types of dementia. The interplay of personality, life experience & cognitive losses. Recognizing the capacities that people with a dementia commonly retain. Understandings & misunderstandings about the cause of behavioural symptoms. Abilities commonly impaired. The role of neurotransmitters. Latest research evidence. Helping the person by understanding how the brain affects behaviour & practical tips to implement in practice. Facilitating function by treating excess disability, e.g. illness besides the dementia, pain, reactions to medications, sensory problems (poor hearing, poor vision) and dizziness are most common.

Tuesday 10th October, Day 3 – review participants’ understanding of how the brain affects behaviour & cognition. How cognitive deficits account for many behavioural symptoms. Helping students realise that damage within the brain also accounts for many other behavioural symptoms, such as loss of judgement & insight, arguing unreasonably, or inability to control impulses. A complex mix of spared and impaired functions may look to the layperson or ill informed staff, like ‘manipulation’, ‘denial’, ‘personality’ or ‘life experience’. This course teaches participants to solve problems, which requires a set of correct assumptions about their cause and the ability to identify the specific problem. Each day is underpinned by case studies, clinical scenarios, experiential exercises & tips to apply in practice based on the latest research evidence.

Bookings: Serena Knight PA to Dr Mary Curtis – email or

Cost: £30 per day