Understanding dementia, training course for carers in North Hampshire

ContactDr Nicola Decker, Clinical Lead for Dementia, North Hampshire CCG
Telephone01256 770212
AddressCentral 40, Lime Tree way, Chineham Business Park, Basingstoke, RG24 8GU

This project will deliver the Department of Health approved ‘Understanding Dementia’ training course to educate carers about dementia from first diagnosis through the dementia journey.

The training course is facilitated by a Carer Support Worker together with a volunteer carer and is delivered over 5 x 3 hour sessions held weekly so as to avoid overload and to enable carers to digest what they have learnt at each session.

Training course content:

  • Week 1 – What is dementia?
    This session introduces the full programme over the five sessions, it aims to identify what participants want from the sessions and it looks at what dementia is and expands on the most common types of dementia.
  • Week 2 – Brain, Behaviour & Memory
    This session introduces the relationship between brain, behaviour and memory providing participants with an insight into what the brain is like and helping participants to understand the memory as a bookcase and thus helping to understand dementia.
  • Week 3 – The ageing senses and the stages of dementia and communication
    We explore the importance of the impact of ageing on the senses of a person with dementia, we introduce the stages of dementia and we explore the key communication considerations for each stage.
  • Week 4 – Communication and coping strategies for Carers
    We continue to explore the key communication considerations for each stage, we explore carers’ feelings about dementia, we talk about positive pictures of the person with dementia and discuss next steps.
  • Week 5 – Understanding dementia for extended family and friends
    This session is to support carers and people with dementia by providing an opportunity for friends and family to learn more about dementia, it is also aimed at improving participants’ knowledge of dementia.


  • To educate and deliver a better understanding of dementia to carers.
  • Benefits of the course are manifold with carers attending alongside other carers who are experiencing the same problems and difficulties as themselves. This gives a feeling of not being alone with carers benefitting from being able to speak to others who are dealing with the same issues relating to dementia as they are.
  • Carers will be given information about early diagnosis and where to go for help therefore being able to access services for early intervention thus avoiding premature dependence on statutory services.
  • Through the course carers will become better informed and will be able to implement strategies for them and their loved ones to live well with dementia.
  • The course will promote independence and the importance of looking after the health and wellbeing of the carer as well as that of the cared-for.
  • Carers will be made aware of local services so that they will know who to go to for practical, emotional, clinical and financial support.
  • They will also be taught how to help themselves and self-manage.
  • Through this education carers will gain the confidence to voice their needs and opinions and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect throughout their journey.

Anticipated outcomes

  • By being better informed about early diagnosis carers will avoid premature intervention by statutory services and both they and their loved ones will be able to continue to live well with dementia in their own home plus also be able to continue to have an active role in their community.
  • By gaining confidence from the knowledge they obtain from the course, carers will be empowered to make their own choices with regard to their caring role and the care provided for their loved ones.
  • People with dementia will benefit from the course as their carers and families and friends will gain a better understanding of dementia and the journey through the various stages of dementia so will be able to continue to maintain a quality relationship with their loved one resulting in the continuation of a fulfilling family life for all.
  • Providing good quality information at these sessions will lead to improved awareness which will result in earlier diagnosis and intervention which will in turn lead to a higher quality of life.
  • The education received at this course will enable carers to make informed choices about their caring role and support that is available to them and their loved one.

Progress update

This project had some delays in setting up, but there are now four courses available and there is a clear need for carers to get support.