Last updated: 12.05.16

Virtual College online course addresses growing challenges of dementia

In 2015, there were already an estimated 850,000 people living in the UK with dementia. These numbers are set to rise dramatically to over one million by 2025.

This year around 225,000 people will develop dementia – that’s one every 3 minutes.

Dementia is a progressive and, eventually, severe long-term condition that affects the functioning of the brain. It normally affects people aged 65 and over but younger people can also be affected.

Virtual College has created a new online course for professionals who come into contact with individuals with dementia. Incorporating new, updated content and a totally revised design, ‘Dementia Awareness’ is a complete rebuild of a previous Virtual College course on this topic which had over 6,000 learners.

This course aims to provide an awareness of what dementia is, how to identify it and the actions that individuals can take to reduce the risk, or delay the onset, of dementia.

It aims to raise understanding about the lived experience of a person with dementia, looking at the person first and then exploring simple techniques to help keep the person with dementia independent for longer.

Mapped to the Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework and CPD accredited, it covers the Prime Minister’s Challenge and key government strategies and describes best practice on how to care for someone with the condition including ways of communicating effectively and compassionately with individuals who have dementia.   

Tablet and iPad accessible, the course includes information on why a person with dementia may exhibit signs of distress and explains how behaviours seen in people with dementia may be a means of communicating unmet needs.

Most learners will take an hour to an hour and a half to go through the comprehensive material for the first time. Learners can choose to go through the course in smaller steps and return to the point where they last finished.

Finally, it signposts professionals, individuals, families and carers to additional sources of dementia advice, support and information.

Created by online learning experts Virtual College, the course has been produced  in association with a subject matter expert with over 13 years’ experience within adult services, who  is currently working across an Adults Care Management Team and a Care Reviewing Team.

For further information:

Notes to editors

About Virtual College

Virtual College won the prestigious ‘E-learning development company of the year 2015’ in the independently-judged global awards. Virtual College has developed into one of the UK's leading providers of total solutions within the e-learning arena. Its key objective is to help enhance the traditional learning solution through the careful integration of technology.

Founded in 1995, today Virtual College has over 2 million registered online learners and this is growing at a rate of over 1,500 a day, across both public and private sectors.

The company has developed a comprehensive product range, including over 300 online courses, accessed via the company's own Learning Management System, as well as offering a complete content design and development service. 

Further information is available at