Lessening the impact of dementia

During lockdown in 2020 we started delivering virtual training in our approach for family carers, via online meetings. In 2021 we added a course for professionals working in health and social care.


Training for Family Carers

Our FREE training can help you to support a spouse, partner, family member or friend who is living with anything from mild memory loss to advanced dementia. Our online interactive course consists of eight weekly sessions of just over an hour, with a choice of daytime and evening slots, so you can take part from anywhere!

Our course explains the nature of dementia, how it differs from normal age-related changes in memory and behaviour, and how it can affect well-being.

Supporting all aspects of well-being and using techniques to reduce the person’s stress levels can make daily living activities easier to manage. The caring role then becomes less frustrating and more rewarding.

This course is FREE for unpaid carers – all you need to do is read our booklet outlining the Understanding Dementia approach. The course expands on this, with time for questions and discussion. Afterwards you are welcome to join our private carers’ group on Facebook for ongoing support.

We offer one in-person training course per term, within the Wokingham Borough area.

Please Download (PDF) the flyer for an overview of the course, or see our Course Outline (PDF) for details of what’s covered each week. To book your place, please select from the dates below.

Testimonials from Family Carers

“After attending an eight-week course run by Shirley I realised what a great practical help it is to a struggling carer. Shirley has revealed a common thread that runs through every person with dementia irrespective of differing behaviour pattern, which is their feelings. This was at the heart and core of Shirley’s course, teaching us to respond to feelings through a series of practical lessons that I would call “Tools”.  Each lesson could be used as and when to fit the occasion and behaviour, and they work. I could not, and would not, want to be without them. Every carer should endeavour to take this course.”

This excellent 8-week course, expertly led by Shirley, was invaluable to me in supporting my mother. Being a primary carer can be a lonely and daunting experience and the journey through dementia can be emotional and challenging. But as a result of this course, I have learnt that by changing my attitude and behaviour, our daily routine has become much easier. Handouts follow each session and sufficient time in the session is given to discuss situations, share tips and work out strategies. I greatly appreciated this informative course which was run at just the right pace, with sensitivity, confidentiality and encouragement. Shirley’s highly informative and easy to read booklet is very helpful to read in advance, recap on and share with relatives and friends. I would recommend this course, without hesitation, to anyone exposed to dementia.

“The course was fantastic…and been a huge help for me, and I’m sharing learnings with my mum. It’s great being able to talk to people in the same situation as us. The biggest issue for me was being able to deal with challenging situations and I now feel we can handle things like that a bit better because we understand things a bit better, why my dad is behaving the way that he is and what we can do to help. I would recommend anyone do the course and do it as early as possible, I only wish I had found it years ago; I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone going through what we are”

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you both for trying to help me understand what my husband is experiencing. I think I have been very lucky in doing this course while he is still in the early stages of this debilitating disease…thank you for explaining how to deal with many issues and differing scenarios. I now have some understanding of WHY things are happening, and am beginning to realise that by changing my reactions and statements when strange things occur, situations are avoided and life is much happier all round….”

“Thank you so much for such an incredible course. I found the content both immensely validating for the things I was doing right and enlightening for the blind spots! I particularly liked how you delivered the training; allowing plenty of space to share, reflect and bring up often buried feelings. Right now, being on the course together with my dad has already given us the vocabulary to discuss it together, and relate my mum’s behaviours to specific lessons. Your work is incredible!”

“The weekly sessions have been utterly invaluable to me. Revisiting the booklet and emailed handouts helped me to better recall the learnings and try to apply these, in the hope they can become second nature with time.  Every connection you make with a carer [via this course] will help ease the daily struggle they and their loved ones face. Thank you so much, we’re very lucky to have your support”.

“Thank you, Shirley, for giving us your vision of care for people with dementia, it has truly equipped us with new insights in how to love, care & support our mums better with greater understanding….so grateful to you for sharing this vision – I’ve already forwarded your link to friends”

“It has been incredibly helpful & reassuring to hear your invaluable knowledge & insights, across so many different situations. Have learned a lot and know that will only continue. You really have helped a lot already. I am so grateful, thank you both very much!”

The course has really helped me to understand how a person with dementia can think and feel and why certain behaviours are seen. It has helped me to care for my mum more compassionately and be aware from her perspective. I’ve been able to practise being a ‘buddy’ and focus on how she is feeling rather than facts. I’m really hoping to be able to re-build some of her self-esteem and self-worth with this new awareness, and as a result make her life living with dementia a little bit easier.
Sincere thanks to Shirley and Lucy for organising and running this invaluable course – it is so appreciated.

“The Understanding Dementia course that I am currently attending has been so useful in helping me to look at dementia from a different, and more positive perspective, and it has helped me to feel more able to support my mum’s well-being through simple yet very effective changes in my verbal and non-verbal communication. As a result of this course, my family have noticed an improvement in her self-esteem and mood, and she is less distressed. I feel that it would be very beneficial, if not essential, to anyone who is in the position of caring for someone with dementia.”

“It was a good mix of content, well structured, good size group, good length of time. Overall, I wouldn’t change anything!”

“It was good to share experiences with others in similar situations or who had experience of supporting people with dementia. It challenged my thinking by suggesting that changes in my behaviour could really help my Mum to be in a better place. Just to say thank you for running the course which I’ve found very helpful in terms of developing my knowledge and skills. Being linked into a group that can provide support moving forward will be most helpful.”

“Loved the format. It was a good balance of themed and focussed presentation and contributions from the participants. I really liked the beginning where we spoke about our week. I have passed the booklets on to the family and they all found them useful… It feels like we are working together and that is a huge comfort.”

Book your place now

September 2024
Tuesday September 24
Wednesday September 25
Monday September 30
October 2024
Tuesday October 1
Wednesday October 2
Monday October 7
Tuesday October 8
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