Dementia: Understanding the Journey

Now in its 7th edition, this is the benchmark course for person-centred dementia care training.

In 1991, in Nova Scotia (Canada), an ambitious and dedicated group came together to create a provincially recognized course with the underlying philosophy that persons with dementia have the same basic needs for security, shelter, nutrition, and affection as other adults, and have the same rights to have these basic needs met.

Since the first delivery in 1991 the course has been delivered to over 16,000 learners. Following an extensive review of the available training, including undertaking a number of alternatives, and evaluating the value of creating our own course, we decided that there's no point in 're-inventing the wheel'. We have been certified to deliver Dementia: Understanding the Journey course outside Nova Scotia since 2016.

Now in its 7th edition, based on our experience Dementia: Understanding the Journey has for some time been the benchmark course for person-centred dementia care training in North America.

No two people experience dementia in the same way, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting persons living with dementia. Dementia: Understanding the Journey was created to develop and enhance the competencies of current and future health care providers.

Dementia: Understanding the Journey offers its learners:

  • a holistic, person-centered philosophy for understanding dementia
  • strategies to maintain a balance between offering support and encouraging independence
  • strategies to maintain a person’s identity, dignity, and self-esteem
  • strategies to provide quality care using an interdisciplinary team approach
  • tools to assist in understanding and responding to behaviours

There is no better course out there for any organization serious about investing in training their staff to deliver genuine person-centred dementia care.

Course Agenda and Curriculum

We provide Dementia: Understanding the Journey online three times each year over 18 weeks to ensure its practical to follow alongside work. All nine modules with 27 workshop-style contact hours must be attended, practical on-the-job assignments, and a final project completed in order to earn a certificate.

Upcoming start dates 2023

  • October 2023 to March 2024

Why this course is different

While other courses provide an introduction to person-centred dementia care, none are near as thorough in terms of depth, practical usefulness, or leveraging the deep and lasting benefits of peer-to-peer learning. There’s a real divide between learning about a topic and learning to do something about it. Dementia: Understanding the Journey bridges that divide.

History of the course

Over the years the Board of Directors of the Dementia: Understanding the Journey Society has been comprised of a variety of people, including physicians, nurses, recreation and occupational therapists, dieticians, educators, administrators, and family members. Their goal is always the same: To promote a person-centred approach to providing care and services for persons living with Dementia through the ongoing development, promotion, and administration of Dementia: Understanding the Journey.