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Essential Skills and Knowledge

Family Carers – Skills and Knowledge

This course is the 2016 successor to the popular Dementia Care: Essential Skills and Knowledge (DESK) course – previously fully funded by Oxfordshire County Council Adult Social Care between 2010 and 2015.

Who is the course for?

Any family member or unpaid carer of a person living with dementia ( diagnosed or undiagnosed). It is for you, whether you are the primary caregiver or not, whether the person is  living independently, at home or in residential care.

How long is the course?

6 hours held over one day.

How much does it cost?

The December course is offered free to family members, carers and unwaged people.

£30.00 waged and professional carers, support workers and those who can afford to pay.

Is a Certificate provided?  Yes, for those wanting a Certificate of Attendance

Is lunch provided? To keep costs down we are not providing lunch. There are places to eat in Kidlington, including Costa,  or you can buy food from Greggs, the Coop or Tescos, all within 5 minute walk. Tea and coffee and light refreshments are available all day.


What happens during the day?

The first part of the morning covers the lived experience of a person with dementia; myths and facts about the brain and the symptoms of different dementias; current scientific and medical research insights and the differences between cognitive impairments of normal ageing and organic disease.

The second part of the morning covers the work fo Tom Kitwood and the psychological needs of a person with dementia. We explore how this has practical consequences in looking after the person, and informs our understanding of behaviour. We look at how to encourage trust and cooperation and to share meaningful activities.

The afternoon session explores practical and positive ways to enhance communication and to move from a more controlling to a more enabling care style. We  consider your changing relationship with the person you care for as their brain progressively changes.

We take a positive view to living well with dementia and we cover what help is available locally and nationally.

Is it suitable for a person living with dementia to attend?

I’m sorry but this is probably not the right course. Although the materials and approach are suitable, the presence of a person with dementia might inhibit discussion among carers.  The Oxford Dementia Programme now includes the Couples – Living Together with Dementia course or you might feel family support and counselling might be the right path.

I’m not sure if this is the right course for me.   Don’t hesitate to contact Catharine with your question.

Can I get financial help to cover expenses such as travel or replacement care costs?

These were previously covered by the OCC.   We regret that there is no fund for this at present.  Oxfordshire Community First ( previously the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council)  is our charitable partners and we would like to hear from any business sponsor who might wish to underwrite these costs to enable people to attend.

I live in rural Oxfordshire and I don’t drive.

Try your local volunteer community driver organisation. You can find more about these voluntary transport services at Community First Oxfordshire


All personal data collected is kept in confidential and secure with controlled access according to the provisions of the Data Protection Act.  Nothing is be shared without the consent of the owner, except in exceptional circumstances, for example if a person’s safety is at risk.

Details of the diagnosis (if any)  are not required to make an expression of interest or book as a self-referral.