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Susie Henley leads the free online course “The Many Faces of Dementia”, run by University College London (UCL). Here she explains the course and how you can sign up to learn more about rarer forms of dementia.

Susie Henley

Did you know that some forms of dementia can affect how people see the world around them? Or that they can cause problems with language and communication rather than just memory?

UCL’s popular, free online course, “The Many Faces of Dementia,” can teach you more about the lesser-known aspects of dementia.

The course uses videos from people with dementia, as well as discussions and articles from leading clinicians and researchers in the dementia field, to shed light on aspects of dementia that may come as a surprise.

It’s accessible, with jargon-free information; the online platform FutureLearn also means that you can dip in and out when you have time. You can complete the whole course by spending about two hours a week on it over the four-week run.

It’s a very sociable forum, with many learners commenting on the various steps and supporting each other as they learn about each other’s stories and reasons for being there.

Different aspects of dementia

Each week tackles a different aspect of dementia.

In week one, the course looks at Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), rare forms of Alzheimer’s disease that are inherited, and how this affects the whole family. It also explores how research with members of these families has been enormously helpful in understanding the more common, non-inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Week two covers frontotemporal dementia (FTD), an umbrella term for a lesser-known cluster of young-onset dementias that can affect social skills and behaviour or language. In these forms of dementia, memory is relatively preserved in the early stages, so it’s very different to what most people think of as ‘dementia’. Often people with these forms of dementia have struggled to get a diagnosis and to understand what’s going on.

In the third week, we look at dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and typical features of this. This includes seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or believing things that aren’t true (delusions). These symptoms can occur in other types of dementia, but tend to be a defining feature in dementia with Lewy bodies. We hear from families living with this dementia, and the professionals who try to help manage and minimise the impact of hallucinations.

Finally, week four talks about Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA), the rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that author Terry Pratchett had. The course uses videos and pictures to show what life is like for someone with Posterior Cortical Atrophy, whose brain can no longer process visual and spatial information correctly.

 

Useful information for everyone

Whilst the course focuses on rarer dementia types, it’s also relevant to anyone working or living with people with all types of dementia. People with the more common forms of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia can also experience these sorts of symptoms at some point.

Learners to date have been a mixture of professionals, family members, students and people with dementia. We’ve had lots of very positive feedback about how useful the new information they’ve gleaned from the course is, and how they’ve learned from each other too.

Expert staff from UCL also pop in to answer questions and comments during the week; there is a special ‘Q&A’ feature at the end of each week, where the most popular learner questions are answered online every Sunday night.

So if you are interested in exploring a bit more about these sides of dementia, or you know someone who is, encourage them to sign up and have a look.

We’ve become used to hearing stories about how our healthcare professionals, including nurses, are routinely subjected to abuse in the workplace. In most environments, this would not be tolerated but seems to be on the increase in our hospitals, particularly where our A&E departments are concerned.

  • According to Nursing Times, as many as 90% of nurses have experienced violence and verbal abuse while trying to do their job.
  • In 2012, The Telegraph reported that there were some 163 attacks on staff every day and the general consensus is that this situation is no better today.
  • It’s not just a problem that is particular to the UK. A study in America at the turn of the millennium found similar results.
  • The UK, however, currently has one of the highest incidences of violence against nurses in Europe.

But how does abuse affect our healthcare providers and where can they find help and support if they need it?

While the NHS has had a zero-tolerance approach to violence and abusive behaviour since 1999, instances of attacks appear to have remained disappointingly high. Abuse come from a variety of sources including patients and relatives who have mental health problems or simply believe they are not getting the treatment they deserve, as well as those under the influence of alcohol.

Areas such as A&E are at particular risk because of the emergency situations they face, the fact that there is all too often overcrowding and the emotional level many people are operating at when they arrive. While hospitals are under increasing pressure, it’s not just problems with patients and relatives that are at the heart of verbal and physical abuse. The NHS and even private hospitals are not immune from instances of bullying within the workplace.

We expect a lot from our nurses. Often, they’re working long shifts between 12 and 14 hours and managing traumas and medical problems that require urgent attention. We expect them to do this with all the compassion and professionalism they can muster. It’s no wonder that many nurses and other healthcare professionals are revaluating their career choices and deciding whether they want to stay in the profession at all. That goes for people working in a wide range of areas from A&E, the NHS to nursing homes and private care.

While organisations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council have put in measures to handle instances of verbal or physical abuse in the workplace, there doesn’t seem to have been much change for the better over the last decade or so. The support that nurses get is also still largely piecemeal and varies from trust to trust.

Just like any other group of people, nurses, midwives and healthcare workers need support and can easily find themselves isolated. There’s no doubt that institutions such as the NHS and all the other Nursing Agencies have to do a lot more to protect nurses and other professionals while they are trying to help the people in their care.

The good news is that charitable organisations such as the Cavell Nurses’ Trust have long been providing support for a range of healthcare professionals. Not only do they help when nurses are suffering from hardship and can’t make ends meet, they assist individuals come to terms with illness, life changing experiences and the impact of violence and abuse in the workplace.

We’ve become used to hearing stories about how our healthcare professionals, including nurses, are routinely subjected to abuse in the workplace. In most environments, this would not be tolerated but seems to be on the increase in our hospitals, particularly where our A&E departments are concerned.

  • According to Nursing Times, as many as 90% of nurses have experienced violence and verbal abuse while trying to do their job.
  • In 2012, The Telegraph reported that there were some 163 attacks on staff every day and the general consensus is that this situation is no better today.
  • It’s not just a problem that is particular to the UK. A study in America at the turn of the millennium found similar results.
  • The UK, however, currently has one of the highest incidences of violence against nurses in Europe.

But how does abuse affect our healthcare providers and where can they find help and support if they need it?

While the NHS has had a zero-tolerance approach to violence and abusive behaviour since 1999, instances of attacks appear to have remained disappointingly high. Abuse come from a variety of sources including patients and relatives who have mental health problems or simply believe they are not getting the treatment they deserve, as well as those under the influence of alcohol.

Areas such as A&E are at particular risk because of the emergency situations they face, the fact that there is all too often overcrowding and the emotional level many people are operating at when they arrive. While hospitals are under increasing pressure, it’s not just problems with patients and relatives that are at the heart of verbal and physical abuse. The NHS and even private hospitals are not immune from instances of bullying within the workplace.

We expect a lot from our nurses. Often, they’re working long shifts between 12 and 14 hours and managing traumas and medical problems that require urgent attention. We expect them to do this with all the compassion and professionalism they can muster. It’s no wonder that many nurses and other healthcare professionals are revaluating their career choices and deciding whether they want to stay in the profession at all. That goes for people working in a wide range of areas from A&E, the NHS to nursing homes and private care.

While organisations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council have put in measures to handle instances of verbal or physical abuse in the workplace, there doesn’t seem to have been much change for the better over the last decade or so. The support that nurses get is also still largely piecemeal and varies from trust to trust.

Just like any other group of people, nurses, midwives and healthcare workers need support and can easily find themselves isolated. There’s no doubt that institutions such as the NHS and all the other Nursing Agencies have to do a lot more to protect nurses and other professionals while they are trying to help the people in their care.

The good news is that charitable organisations such as the Cavell Nurses’ Trust have long been providing support for a range of healthcare professionals. Not only do they help when nurses are suffering from hardship and can’t make ends meet, they assist individuals come to terms with illness, life changing experiences and the impact of violence and abuse in the workplace.

Are you a Health Care Assistant in the Milton Keynes area who has a passion for care? If the answer is yes, then Secure Healthcare could be the right option for you!

Visit our open day to find out more about the new roles we have to offer (temp and perm).

We specialise in supplying Health Care Assistants to Nursing Homes, Residential homes, NHS hospitals, Mental health hospitals and the community across the UK. Secure Healthcare is never short of a variety of hours to cover and so has a shift to suit every worker.

Our business operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week and ensures we give you constant and regular work on a daily, weekly and long term basis, we build strong relationships with our personnel which allows us to make your work with us hassle free.

This enables you the ability to specify your own work availability each week and be allocated the shifts that suit your lifestyle and commitments….

This is only one of the outstanding benefits of working with Secure Healthcare.
We offer many exciting and unique prospects such as;
• Excellent pay rates
• Free and easy to use online training updates
• Weekly Payment
• 24/7 on-call support team
• Bonus Schemes

Secure Your Career with Secure Healthcare Solutions Today.

To Book you place please call us on 0121 285 9449 or contact Vidas Savickas by Email if you would like more information using cv@securehealthcaresolutions.co.uk

Registering with us shall require you to provide two professional references. One of which is to be either your current or most recent employer. It is also necessary for an enhanced DBS disclosure to be carried out.

Applicants must also have at least six months care experience in the past 2 years.

We look forward to welcoming you soon 🙂