I was a bit concerned about “studying” – too much on, too many balls in the air, no spare time, too tired – bla bla bla!

It was only chatting with an equally busy friend who also cares for her mother, and who had just completed the Understanding Dementia MOOC that I finally had the boost I needed to just get on with it!

The good news is that the MOOC does not require study per se – so any thought about late night swatting for exams is thankfully not part of the picture.

The MOOC is made up of easy-to-digest videos, cartoons, games, text, readings, and discussion forums that I can honestly say I have been able to cover easily with a cup of coffee in hand and my laptop on my lap in bed before my day gets underway.

Not only that, I have found it stimulating, informative and as a carer both poignant and helpful.

Because it’s online, you can do as much or as little as I you can fit in, at whatever time works for you, so it’s perfect – no matter what your circumstances.

Module One – Overview & Intro

Professors James Vickers and Fran McInerny do a great job, and throughout the course, I think they have achieved an excellent mix of clinical-type information – which, for a non-medical person could be quite challenging and potentially lead to a loss of interest – with, for want of a better term, layperson-type explanations.

Throughout the modules, there are many helpful resources provided, and among the first are some of the peak bodies in various countries – listed below, and you can click on any of them to go straight to the respective websites.

International – Alzheimer’s Disease International

List of associations in 100 countries – Alzheimer’s Disease International member associations

Australia – Dementia Australia

Canada – Alzheimer Society of Canada

Ireland – Alzheimer Society of Ireland

New Zealand – Alzheimer’s New Zealand

Dementia New Zealand

United Kingdom – Alzheimer’s Society

United States – Alzheimer’s Association

The subsequent MOOC Modules are The Brain, followed by The Diseases, and then The Person.

Course Completion brings it all together, and at completion you receive a certificate that acknowledges your successful completion of the course.

Covered in the First Module is some great information about the Wicking Research & Education Centre itself, as well as the Purpose of the Course, how the areas of the platform work, and everything you need to get started.

A key message is that the Course is about YOU – whatever that means.

For me, the course is hugely relevant as a primary Carer – in terms of what my mother is going through both physically and emotionally, and in terms of what I myself am going through.

As a service provider with our Membo Noticeboard assistive technology, the MOOC has also provided invaluable information that will help us work with our clients and their families and carers, and in our relationships with others working in the sector.

In my next Blog, I’ll provide an overview of Module Two – the Brain.

It’s fascinating stuff, and I urge you to check out the upcoming courses.

Click here to view upcoming Uni of Tasmania MOOC

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