Caregiving is often an unexpected calling that leaves many caretakers, especially those trying to understand dementia and Alzheimer’s, feeling unprepared and incapable. The University of Tasmania is helping to empower caregivers by offering a free, nine week Understanding Dementia online course for caregivers around the world.
Clinicians, neuroscientists and dementia professionals have combined their expertise and knowledge from around the world to create a curriculum for a free, nine week class for caregivers, which begins March 31, 2014.
The course is a part of the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Center, and is divided into three themes:
The segments will cover all aspects of dementia, and will focus on leaving caregivers with increased knowledge and the opportunity to learn from leaders on the front lines in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Caregivers can log-in to the course and complete it at any time, as there is no live or real-time material for the course, based off the understanding that caregiving is a full time job.
University of Tasmania instructors estimate that the course will take about three hours a week to complete and in case that work load is too much, the nine week course will be extended for two more weeks, which will allow participants to catch up on any missed lessons.
You can learn more about the course, and sign up for it here.
In addition to learning about dementia, caregivers will also have the opportunity to connect, share, and network with more than 8,000 people who are registered for the course from around the world. The course is structured so that participants can draw from their universal experiences of caregiving, to support and encourage others while discussing key issues.
Past participants have said that the course has empowered them to care for their loved ones. After just one week of being enrolled, one caregiver said, “I have really enjoyed the course. I already feel more empowered to help my darling mum, with her Alzheimer’s.”
The course, which is released twice a year, is a limited opportunity that caregivers can benefit from at no financial cost. Carolyn King, Understanding Dementia MOOC Course Coordinator, summed up the purpose of the course saying,
“The Understanding Dementia MOOC was developed by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania, to address the well-recognized gap in dementia education worldwide. We designed the course with non-traditional learners in mind, focusing on accessibility, engagement and application to practice. Utilizing the knowledge of 12 experts in dementia, ranging from clinicians to people with dementia, we have created a comprehensive range of content, with the capacity to engage people from diverse backgrounds.”
Have you taken a course like this to help care for your loved one? Please share your story in the comments below.
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