2. Understand the concept of the dementia journey and its different stages.

Module 1: Understanding dementia


As life expectancy rises in the developed world, more people are being diagnosed with dementia. In 2015 there were approximately 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland. Over the next 20 years it is predicted that the number of people in the population who are over 65 years will increase significantly. As a result there will be a disproportionately greater increase of people in the oldest age groups, so it is likely that numbers of people with a diagnosis of dementia in Scotland will increase considerably. These numbers may change over the years, as will many of the statistics given in this module, and it is important that you should keep up to date by checking the Scottish Government website, or Alzheimer Scotland website. In this module, we will look at some of the more common types of dementia and examine their prevalence, how they affect the brain, and what signs and symptoms are likely to occur as a result. There is no single cause of dementia and it can affect a diverse range of people. However, there are a number of factors that can increase or decrease the risk of developing dementia. We will look at some of these risk factors and consider what can be done to reduce the risk of developing dementia. We will also consider the stages of the dementia journey. Key to understanding dementia is the recognition of the impact on people’s communication skills and the impact of the environment on people with dementia. Finally we consider the importance of equality and diversity in dementia care and support.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to:

1. Identify and describe the different causes and types of dementia, and understand the symptoms and difficulties people will experience.

2. Understand the concept of the dementia journey and its different stages.

3. Understand the impact of a diagnosis of dementia on the person, and their family.

4. Distinguish between dementia, depression and delirium.

5. Explain the risk factors relating to dementia.

6. Reflect on the factors that can influence communication with people who have dementia.

7. Understand the impact of the environment on people with dementia.

8. Recognise the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion when working with people with dementia.

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