Preventing Dementia: FREE Massive Open Online Course

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Dementia is now a leading cause of death worldwide. This key public health issue means that risk reduction is more important than ever. It is never too late to do something good for the brain and reduce your risk.

This course is suited to everyone — whether you are an individual with an interest in brain health and/or dementia risk reduction, or an allied health professional, clinician, aged care service provider or health policy professional.

Examine the evidence – reduce your risk

The impacts of dementia, including loss of physical and cognitive capacity, are felt community wide — from family and carers through to health professionals. The latest research estimates that approximately one third of dementia cases may be preventable by attending to potentially modifiable risk factors.

Knowledge is becoming the key to understanding prevention.

Course overview

Module 1 – Can dementia be prevented?

Learn about key concepts in dementia prevention as well as how we study dementia risk in populations, and the major modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. The impacts of dementia on the health care system will also be discussed.

Module 2 – Dementia risk – it’s not all in your head

This week examines the evidence supporting links between dementia risk and key vascular and medical risk factors, such as diabetes and physical activity.

Module 3 – A healthy and active mind

Learn about the links between key lifestyle factors and risk of dementia. The impact of education and depression on dementia risk will be discussed. Also learn how we can build ‘cognitive reserve’ to resist the effects of diseases that cause dementia.

Module 4 – Interventions for prevention

Key strategies for prevention at the individual and population level are examined. New research initiatives that may impact on dementia risk are explored.

What is involved?

Learn from home, at your own pace, without exams or assignments. Engage over 4 weeks with a community of participants from across the globe.

The Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) draws on the latest scientific evidence, as well as the expertise of leading global experts in dementia research and education to outline and discuss the key risk factors for dementia. You will hear from expert neuroscientists, clinicians and epidemiologists as they outline ways you may be able to reduce your risk.

Myths and controversies will be discussed. You will also have an opportunity to participate in new research in this area, and to undertake a personal risk assessment.

Frequently asked questions

1.    How much time do I need to set aside each week?

We recommend approximately 2 hours per week.

2.    Are there any prerequisites for the course?

No, you do not need any prior level of knowledge, and we hope to provide useful information to people from a range of backgrounds. As it is fully online, basic computer skills are required to complete the course. You will also need an email address to sign up for a profile at mooc.utas.edu.au and to enrol.

3.    Do I receive a certificate of completion?

Yes, if you complete the entire course, which includes successful completion of quizzes, you will be able to download a free certificate of completion. Please note that this is an electronic certificate. Enhanced certificates will also be available to purchase.

4. Can participation in the MOOC count towards my Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record?

The requirements of CPD hours or points varies across professions, as well as between countries, where they may be known under other names, such as CEUs. Check with your local training authority or professional association for more information about CPD The enhanced certificate of completion will state 8 CPD hours.

The people behind the progress

The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre

Established with core funding from the J.O. and J.R. Wicking  Trust (Equity Trustees) the Wicking Centre is a leading academic organisation at the University of Tasmania. It combines quality research in the themes of Care, Cause and Prevention of dementia, with advanced online learning technologies, to achieve its purpose of addressing the global impact of dementia.

Preventing Dementia MOOC partnership

Developed by the Wicking Centre at the University of Tasmania, the Preventing Dementia MOOC also draws upon the expertise of leading global academics in the field of dementia prevention from the University of Cambridge, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Sydney and the Australian National University.

Further study options in Dementia Care

Completed the Preventing Dementia MOOC and looking to develop your knowledge and make a positive difference

to the lives of people living with dementia? The Wicking Centre also offers the Understanding Dementia MOOC a FREE, online 7 week course that builds upon the latest in international research on dementia.

For those seeking to develop specialised knowledge in the field, we also offer a university qualification in dementia care. This can be studied fully online, flexibly with part-time and full-time study options, and offers you a choice to graduate with a diploma, associate degree or bachelor degree. For more information on these courses visit utas.edu.au/wicking.

To find out more and to enrol visit: mooc.utas.edu.au/landing/pdf

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