In this guide, we’ve detailed training for dementia carers in the UK, as well as the more specialist courses available to employed carers looking after someone with dementia.
Dementia in the UK
In the UK, there are currently an estimated 900,000 people living with dementia – a figure that is projected to rise to 1.6 million by the year 2040. The majority of people living with dementia (around two-thirds) are living in the community, and are most likely looked after by an unpaid family member or friend.
Most people who end up in the role of a dementia carer do so because they take on the responsibilities of looking after a loved one with dementia. That means that many unpaid dementia carers can feel completely unprepared for their role, and extremely isolated as the deal with their own emotions as well as adapting to a new way of life with the person they care for.
- Why might dementia carers need training?
- Is dementia training legally required?
- Training for dementia carers UK
Why might dementia carers need training?
Dementia is a syndrome that affects memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Someone with symptoms of dementia can struggle with daily tasks, experience memory loss, and may have changes in personality and the way they deal with all aspects of life.
Most people with dementia will eventually need care for all parts of life – and for an untrained carer, that can be overwhelming, not to mention isolating. Dementia training will give you the tools you need to provide better care for the person you are caring for, as well as ways to help you handle your own emotions and well-being.
In addition, dementia training gives you access to healthcare professionals that specialise in this field – so if you need additional support and aren’t sure how to get it, training can give you a fantastic support network.
You might also like to read our Courses for Dementia Carers Guide.
Are carers legally required to have training in dealing with dementia?
Dementia training is not mandatory if you are an unpaid carer for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. However, the benefits of even a few hours of training can be a huge help to you and to the care you provide your family member or friend.
Training for Dementia Carers in the UK:
Future Learn hosts a number of different dementia courses offered by leading Universities in the UK.
Cost: Courses are included in the platforms Unlimited subscription, which is £19.99 a month.
Duration: Between 3 – 4 weeks, 2 – 3 hours per week
Courses range from providing end-of-life care for people with dementia, to a course covering the ‘many faces of dementia’, which looks at the science behind the diagnosis as well as stories that give participants a deeper insight into the condition.
Courses currently on offer:
The Many Faces of Dementia, created by UCL
End-of-Life Care for People with Dementia, created by UEA
Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding, and Enhancing Lives, created by UCL & Created Out of Mind
Dementia Carers Count is a website aimed towards family members or friends supporting someone with dementia. The site aims to provide training, support, and further education delivered by health professionals, allowing dementia carers to develop their skills and understanding when providing care.
Cost: Courses are free
Duration: Three days for the in-person course, and 1.5 hours for online training
Location: Online and Face to Face
Dementia Carers is a charity organisation, and so do not make a profit from their courses. Instead, the platform offers free courses and training for dementia carers to ensure no one is excluded from the resources offered, and covers the cost to deliver the training through fundraising.
This three day course is hosted in person throughout the year, and is led by healthy professionals to support friends and family members taking care of someone living with dementia.
The course is suitable for dementia carers looking to gain a better understanding of the condition and what the person you care for is experiencing. Participants will learn how their own personality comes into play when providing care, how to manage challenging situations, maintaining your own wellbeing, and build your resilience when faced with this tough condition.
In addition, the course offers the opportunity to discuss your situation with healthcare professionals, and to meet others who are in a similar situation to you.
In addition to this face-to-face course, Dementia Carers also offer a supplementary training day for family members and friends caring for someone with dementia living in a care home, and a course for young on-set dementia.
Dementia Carers also offer a number of online sessions every month. Each session is roughly 1.5 hours, with the topic covered over the course of 3-4 weeks. The online learning platform offers topics such as “the hidden challenges of dementia”, “taking care of yourself as a carer”, and “relationships and feeling secure”.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is an independent improvement agency, providing a large database of eLearning tools and resources across social care and health, and beyond.
Cost: Not listed
Duration: One day
Location: At your care home premises
The dementia training offered by SCIE is aimed towards frontline staff, training managers, and care home managers working with people living with dementia.
Th course covers national data on dementia, how the condition affects people’s communication, relationships, and dealing with everyday situations, as well as meeting the needs of people with dementia.
This is aCPD-accredited course, aiming to give carers a better understanding and awareness of how to treat people living with dementia when providing their care.
Alzheimer’s Society provides live training for dementia professionals across all sectors. A few examples of the courses offered here include:
- Dementia awareness training for GPs
- Supporting people with dementia in the housing sector
- Dementia awareness for emergency staff
- Dementia awareness for staff working in transport services
- Dementia awareness for dental practices
Alzheimer’s Society also has six online courses suitable for individuals and organisations. These online modules are available from £24+VAT per learner, taking approximately 45 – 60 minutes per learner.
Online courses available include:
- Introduction to dementia
- Understanding dementia
- Engaging with people in the early stages of dementia
- Responding to distressed behaviour
- Creating dementia friendly environments
- Understanding the later stages of dementia
- Supporting people with dementia at end of life
- Supporting people in the later stages of dementia
- Creating dementia-friendly care environments
- Creating dementia-friendly customer environments
Cost: Free (Online)
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Online or on-site at Old Park Farm, Essex
Dementia Adventure aims to enable people living with dementia and their carers to connect with nature and keep a sense of adventure in their lives. The organisation, based in Essex, supports people with dementia by providing opportunities to get outdoors and engage with nature, and provide support and further knowledge for those working with people with the condition.
Dementia Adventure offers two courses:
– Understanding Dementia Better
– Mood & Motivation
The Understanding Dementia Better session covers common symptoms of dementia, how it can affect behaviour, strategies to overcome communication barriers, and ways a carer might adapt the environment to support someone with dementia.These sessions are offered both online and in person.
Skills for Care is the workforce development and planning body for social care in England, ensuring social care has adequate support and skills in place to deliver care across the country.
The organisation has a number of online resources designed to help dementia carers provide better care for the person they are looking after, as well as gain a better understanding of dementia, its symptoms, and how the condition affects behaviour.
Note that these resources are not courses as such, but a useful resource of information that dementia carers may find a greater understanding of the condition and their role within.