Working with People Affected by Dementia

University of the West of England, Bristol
Delivery Method: Face-to-face

This one-day course is aimed at Community, residential care and in-patient nursing staff as well as Allied Health Professionals and will introduce the basics of a person-centred approach to distressed behaviour or challenging behavior. Within this approach distress, and the aggression that can arise from this, is framed in terms of a person's response to their environment. We will examine the relationship between distressed behaviour and unmet needs such as the need for greater security.

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Entry requirements

This specialist day is aimed at staff who have already qualified, but wish to extend their understanding of dementia care.


The day will focus on the way in which distress can become translated into aggression for many reasons: sometimes as a defensive response to violations of personal space, or because of miscommunication or because it is perceived as a way of re-asserting control over the world. Responding to these challenges will be placed within the context of ethical and practical issues that arise in working with people affected by dementia.

By the end of the day, participants will understand how challenging behaviour can often reflect distress and have an understanding of the evidence base around a number of different approaches, including social and medical interventions and the limitations that surround their use.

The day will be led by Richard Cheston (Professor of Dementia Research) Gary Christopher (Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Neuropsychology), Myra Conway (Associate Professor in Neurochemistry) and Rob Stewart (Senior Lecturer in Neuroimaging).

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