Understanding Dementia (Independent)

Understanding Dementia is online course offered by University of Tasmania via Independent.

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The 7-week curriculum is divided into three units: ‘the brain’, ‘the diseases’ and ‘the person’. It covers a range of topics including basic brain anatomy, pathology, dementia research, risk factors, the difference between normal ageing and dementia, diagnosis, medical management, living with dementia, progression and staging, palliation, behavioural and psychological symptoms, therapeutic approaches, dementia friendly communities and more.

The content is delivered by 18 experts in the field of dementia including neuroscientists, health scientists, clinicians, dementia care professionals and people living with dementia.

Participants will have an opportunity to engage with the material via video clips, activities, games, scenarios and quizzes. Furthermore, they will have an opportunity to meet an international network of peers online to discuss the key issues surrounding dementia.



Module: The Brain

The Brain provides background content on basic nervous system anatomy and function, followed by a discussion of the diseases that cause dementia, current dementia research and future directions.

Nervous system anatomy
Anatomy with Body Central
Pathology of dementia
Future directions of dementia research

Module: The Diseases

The Diseases explores differences between normal ageing and dementia, risk factors, issues surrounding diagnosis, as well as medical management.

Difference between normal ageing and dementia
Risk factors for dementia
Domains of dementia
Diagnosis of dementia
Younger onset dementia
Stages of dementia and focusing support
Medical management

Module: The Person

The Person addresses difficulties in recognizing symptoms, living with dementia, palliation, pain, dementia friendly communities, dementia inclusive design, and non-pharmacological therapies.

Insidious onset of dementia
Living with dementia
Dementia palliation
Non-pharmacological therapies
Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
Pain and dementia
Advanced dementia symptoms and management
Dementia friendly communities
Dementia inclusive design


Prof Fran McInerney

Additional information

Course Delivery


Course Efforts

3 Hours a Week

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Course Length

7 Weeks

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Course Subtitles


Flexible Learning


Verified Certificate



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