Dementia - learning resources

On this page you will find examples of dementia related learning resources that support staff development and include e-learning resources, training courses and networking opportunities.

In other sections of this website you can also:

The resources below are arranged under the following headings:

Some of the resources on this page are in PDF format - see how to access PDF files.

E-learning resources

Abertay University: Dangling conversations - Dementia e-learning package
This e-learning package is based around eight digital stories made by seven people with early stage dementia and one paid carer. The package aims to engage the audience with the experience of having dementia through stories that blend past and present lives and will be useful for a range of health and social care workers and students.  

Alzheimer's Society: Multimedia
People with dementia, their partners, families and carers tell their stories about what it's like to live with dementia.

e-LfH: e-Dementia
e-LfH is a Department of Health Programme which provides free-of-charge training materials for the NHS workforce across the UK. This is an interactive e-learning resource to support the training of all health and social care staff in recognising, assessing and managing dementia, and in providing high-quality dementia care. It consists of ten sessions covering a wide range of issues relevant to dementia. To access the resource in full you will need to register with an NHS or equivalent email address.

The first session of the course, ‘Overview of dementia’ which presents an overview of common symptoms in dementia and describes the treatment and support available, can also be viewed by the general public and can be directly accessed from the Department of Health’s Dementia portal at e-learning on dementia.

Flinders University: Come into my world: how to interact with a person who has dementia 
The purpose of this Australian educational resource is to illustrate that by using a more person-centred care approach, undergraduate healthcare students can improve both the quality of their practice and the wellbeing of the person with dementia. The educational resource consists of a multidisciplinary DVD with a supporting workbook based on the work of Professor Tom Kitwood (1997) and Professor Dawn Brooker (2007).

Health Education England: e-Learning for Healthcare – Dementia
A new online training resource has been launched today to ensure that all staff in the NHS and in social care can be dementia-aware. The e-learning resource will help to deliver the roll out of the Prime Minister’s dementia package that would see 100,000 nurses and health care assistants receiving dementia training by e-learning by 2015. The e-learning sessions in dementia have been developed by e-Learning for Healthcare, part of Health Education England (HEE), the new body responsible for the education and training of health and healthcare staff. See: e-Learning for Healthcare – Dementia.

Improving Dementia Education and Awareness (IDEA)
IDEA is a free online resource aimed at improving the care and quality of life of people with dementia. Whether you are a care worker, carer, or health professional, IDEA provides quality resources about dementia. The website directs users to relevant online and face to face courses, and there are discussion areas which are open to everyone who registers.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) (2012) Promoting excellence: Informed about dementia
This DVD has been jointly produced as an educational resource for the entire health and social services workforce in Scotland to support the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy. Viewers are shown that they are likely to interact with people with dementia in a wide variety of situations, not just those specific to dementia care, and are encouraged to recognise the rights and abilities of people with dementia. They will also learn about "some simple steps they can take to apply this learning in a way that can make a huge difference in improving the experience of people with dementia and their families, friends and carers in health and social services". The DVD is in six chapters. See also the press release (PDF 43KB).

NHS Education for Scotland (2012) Dementia skilled - improving practice
This is a comprehensive learning resource which has been designed against Promoting Excellence, and in a way that enables a range of uses by organisations, teams and individuals. The learning resource has five modules and an introduction. The modules are: Understanding dementia; Promoting person and family centred care and community connections; Promoting health and well being; Meeting the needs of the person with dementia who is distressed and Supporting and protecting peoples rights.

NHS Education for Scotland (2011): Acute care dementia learning resource
An interactive online educational resource for staff working in the acute care environment to help identify and care for patients suffering with dementia. The resource is in five sections: coming into the ward; recognising and assessing care needs; the care experience; meeting the needs of the person who is distressed; and leaving the ward - transition.

NHS Education for Scotland (2011) Dementia care in the emergency department
An interactive online educational resource aimed at those working in the emergency department to recognise and provide appropriate care to meet the needs of those with dementia. The resource consists of four sections: initial contact; assessment; intervention; and resolution.

NHS Education for Scotland (2011) Respecting and protecting adults at risk in Scotland – legislation and practice
This is a learning resource to support and prepare health and social care practitioners in the practical application of the provisions of The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 and the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. There are four modules on: person centred approaches to care; legislative context; capacity and consent within practice; applying legislation in practice. A number of the case studies and scenarios are about people with dementia.

Nursing and Midwifery Council: Safeguarding
The NMC online safeguarding hub includes a training toolkit with content designed to help facilitate discussion and promote local policies. The hub highlights resources across the UK.

Social Care Institute for Excellence: Dementia Gateway
This gateway is aimed at health and social care practitioners who work with people with dementia in nursing, residential or domiciliary settings. It is organised into different sections which bring together written information, films, activities and e-learning. New sections are being added on regular basis.

SCIE E-learning (2011) Mental Capacity Act
These e-learning resources bring together audio, video and interactive technology to explore many areas of the Mental Capacity Act such as assessing a person’s capacity to make their own day-to-day and more complex decisions and when best interests decisions need to be made.

SCIE Social Care TV
Social Care TV has a series of short films which can be used for awareness raising or as part of training modules. They use real situations to illustrate case studies.

Nursing Standard: Learning Zone articles  
The following articles are available in the continuing professional development section of the Nursing Standard:

You will need your RCN membership number to access Nursing Standard via the RCN e-journals.
To find other articles and related resources see the Discover more page.

Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP): e-GP, e-Learning for General Practice - Dementia
This e-learning resource has two modules, 'Memory Problems in Older People' and 'Care of People with Dementia'. They are written by experienced clinicians, and the e-learning uses case studies, animation and interactive exercises. Each session takes around 20 minutes to complete. Access to e-GP is available free to UK NHS General Practitioners, GP Specialty Trainees and GP educators.

Courses / training

Alzheimer's Society: Training courses
The Alzheimer's Society has developed a training pathway which offers those working with people with dementia the opportunity to access training and education. Modules on the pathway range from basic dementia awareness through to more in-depth programmes, such as 'Champions in dementia'. For further education and development services visit the society's training page.

Amanda Waring
Amanda Waring has developed films and training resources to support dignity and person- centred care which aim to promote understanding of the needs of people with dementia in various settings. Amanda Waring is the director of the award winning dignity film 'What do you see'.

Bradford Dementia Group at the University of Bradford
This multi-disciplinary and multi-professional group is committed to making a difference to policy and practice in dementia care, through excellence in research, education and training. Training is delivered through a variety of formats, including face-face short courses and a flexible range of accredited programmes delivered by distance learning.

The Bradford Dementia Group has been sponsored by Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority to undertake development and evaluation of a sustainable model of workforce development for acute hospitals. The work focuses on the development of dementia champions who facilitate training at foundation level for all staff, and intermediate level for clinical staff. Materials have been developed that reflect the needs of staff working within an acute hospital setting and which focus on a person-centred approach to dementia care. This work will be evaluated using dementia care mapping, and the dementia champions training model will be offered to NHS organisations throughout the UK from 2013. For further information contact Claire Surr at c.a.surr1@Bradford.ac.uk

Dementia Care Matters
This training company provides dementia related in-house training, Diploma training programmes, consultancy and coaching. Their membership scheme provides access to tools, a care home operational manual, a blog, books, dvds and articles.

Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
This centre provides comprehensive dementia education and training, consultancy and research services designed to support dementia care in a range of settings. The Centre’s flagship Iris Murdoch Building is a model for dementia friendly design.

The Centre has also developed a practical resource The care of people with dementia in acute hospital settings: Evidence-based practice, innovation and collaboration. A resource pack for staff. For details see the Centre's catalogue of publications on acute care.

The Centre also provides facilitator training for healthcare assistants and a range of courses relevant to staff working in hospital settings. Details are available at Events

GM-HIEC: Getting to know me
This training programme was developed with funding from the Greater Manchester Health Innovation and Education Cluster (GM-HIEC). The project took place during 2010-2013, and was a collaboration between the University of Manchester, Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The aim of the project was to pilot and evaluate dementia awareness training for staff working with people with dementia in general hospitals. The “Getting to Know Me” training materials are free to download and use. It can be targeted at staff of all grades who have regular contact with hospital patients who may have dementia.

Jackie Pool Associates
This organisation develops and sells specialist dementia leadership programmes and training materials for the health and social care sector. It is a leading UK specialist in dementia care and the author of the Skills for Care Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) dementia units.

NHS Education for Scotland
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) have worked in partnership with Scotland Social Services Council (SSSC), Alzheimer's Scotland and the university sector in the following areas.

For further information see the section of the NES website on Educational resources and guidance on mental health and learning disability: Dementia.

NHS England (London)
NHS England (London) has led a project to develop, through consultation with clinicians, a series of dementia training modules targeted at acute inpatient and community settings. The modules cover a range of topics including resources which focus on attitudes and behaviour. They can be delivered as short training sessions which people can work through progressively, or linked together to form half or whole day training courses to provide flexibility. If you work for the NHS and would like to gain access to the modules, get in touch with Ruth Evans, Strategic Clinical Network, Senior Project Manager - Dementia at Ruth.evans9@nhs.net  

University of Worcester: Association of Dementia Studies (ADS)
The University of Worcester ADS staff have substantial experience in developing care for people with dementia in hospitals. They have been engaged in research and development on an NHS West Midlands programme with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust in developing services of excellence in the acute hospital from 2009 to 2011.

Available courses include: Care of a person with dementia in an acute care setting - a module worth 20 credits at level 5 or 6. This can be combined with another module to lead to the award of an Advanced University Diploma (Dementia Care). This course is also available on a bespoke basis to be delivered within NHS Trusts or across a number of Trusts to develop staff leadership in quality dementia care.

The Association has developed, as part of a collaborative project, DVD assisted training on good communication between health care staff and people living with dementia and their families which includes a section on hospital care. For more information and details of how to obtain see Stand by me training resource.

RCN accredited courses

The RCN has accredited the following courses:

Best practice in dementia care: a six part study course for health care assistants 
The Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling.

Best practice in dementia care: A six part study course for care home and day care staff 
The Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling.

Staff development

Care Fit for VIPS
This resource is based on the nationally recognised VIPS Framework of Dementia Care. It consists of a real-time assessment tool; a searchable toolkit and an improvement cycle. Resources in the toolkit include videos, leaflets, websites, reports, and other materials that can help in providing person-centred dementia care.

Dementia and Elderly Care News
Dementia Care News developed from a current awareness service provided to staff and students at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust. It aims to bring together, for people involved in dementia care, the latest news and research from evidence-based and reputable sources. Abstracts are written with a wide readership in mind and with recognition that those who want more detail can follow the links provided. Information is posted on a regular basis and a topics section organises posts which are relevant to particular groups. There are also category headings which bring together posts of particular subjects.

Dementia Partnerships
The Dementia Partnerships website, sponsored by NHS South of England, is "a resource for people, partnerships and networks working to improve outcomes for people living with dementia". It aims to share local news and resources and learning on particular topics which include: commissioning; improving diagnosis and support after diagnosis; hospital care; better prescribing; workforce; the arts and dementia. One of the resources is a positive practice compendium which brings together a selection of developments and initiatives to improve the quality of dementia care in hospitals across the South West of England - see Positive practice compendium

Dementia Services Development Centre: Library and Information Service
The specialist Library and Information Service at the Centre has one of the largest UK collections of dementia material. Services include an online catalogue, dynamic links to current library holdings on a range of topics, a blog which has answers to recent enquiries as well as loan and document supply services. Also available is Dementia Now a free downloadable ejournal containing research information, web links and news stories. Each issue tackles a different hot topic relating to dementia care.

Department of Health (2011) Common core principles for supporting people with dementia: a guide to training the social care and health workforce
These principles were developed by Skills for Care and Skills for Health working with employers, people with dementia, carers and provider organisations. The eight common core principles can be used to enable workforce development for any member of staff in any health and social care setting and can be used with people at and stage of dementia. They can also be used to inform the content of curricula and training courses. Signposting to resources and further reading is included at the end of this guide.
National Open College Network: Dementia Qualification and Credits Framework
The QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) is a new way of recognising skills and qualifications. It does this by awarding credit for units (small steps of learning), enabling learners to gain qualifications at their own pace along flexible routes. The Health and Social Care level 2 and 3 diplomas on the new qualifications and credit framework are now available and replace the Health and Social Care (HSC) NVQs level 2 and 3. The National Open College Network's (NOCN) qualifications in Dementia Care (QCF) and Awareness of Dementia (QCF) have been developed in partnership with Skills for Care and Development.  They aim to support government strategies to develop knowledge, understanding and skills of caring for individuals with dementia. These courses are provided by a range of training organisations (see courses/training for further information).

Scottish Government (2011) Promoting excellence: a framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers
This framework, developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), supplements other existing frameworks and applies to all health and social services staff who have contact with, and provide support, care, treatment and services for people who have dementia, and their families and carers. It can be used as a learning tool and to identify individual skills and gaps in knowledge and as an organisational tool to ensure staff have the skills to meet the needs of people with dementia, their families and carers.
Skills for Health
Skills for Health and Skills for Care recently undertook a piece of work to scope the  education and training needs of the workforce in dementia, identify current provision and develop an action plan to support the England Dementia Strategy. Existing dementia care accredited education and training was mapped against QCF Levels 1-3 (Vocational Qualifications) and Levels 4-8, mostly accredited by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Further information can be found at the section of the website on dementia

Learning Networks

Dementia UK: Living well with dementia mentors
The Department of Health has set up a partnership with Horsemouth to host ‘Living Well with Dementia’ mentors and provide a network for people with dementia and their carers, and a resource for learning from other's experiences. See also Living Well with Dementia on Horsemouth.  
Dementia UK networks:

NHS Education for Scotland: Dementia Managed Knowledge Network (MKN)
Anyone with an interest in the health and social care of people with dementia may join this network, which offers information, resources and opportunities for discussion.

RCN Forums

These forums have an online community which includes latest news, features, hot topics, current projects, ways to get involved and an area on the discussion zone:
RCN Mental Health Forum
RCN Older People.

For further information about forums and related resources see RCN forums.


For relevant standard statements and associated guidance see:
NICE quality standards: Dementia standard 
See Statement 1.
Scottish Government: Standards of care for dementia in Scotland
As a person with dementia:
I have the right to have carers who are well supported and educated about dementia.

This page was last reviewed 30 April 2014.