Courses for Family & Friends

Our Introduction for Family & Friends is a two day course which provides the crucial introduction to the SPECAL Photograph Album (PA) and an immediate follow-on workshop the next day, (PA Plus One), which we formerly offered separately at a later date.  

This course now enables first time attendees to learn about

  • Every human being’s need for a sense of well-being
  • An understanding of the impact of a diagnosis of dementia
  • The need for a post-diagnostic step change from a medical model to a disability management model
  • The SPECAL Photograph Album – an analogy to explain:
    –     How normal memory works
    –     Universal age-associated problems
    –     Dementia – a single change
  • The consequences for the person with dementia
  • The reason why common sense does not work in response
  • The need for a SPECAL sense response from other people
  • SPECAL’s Three Golden Rules and associated tools
  • The concept of working positively with dementia rather than trying to defeat it

There will also be an opportunity to

  • Explore a starter set of counter-intuitive skills and techniques to re-instate and sustain well-being for the person with dementia
  • Practise these skills and techniques with other members of the group
  • Formulate a personalized action plan to return home with confidence about next steps.

This course is designed with younger family members in mind, enabling them to help others in the family, including the 24/7 spouse or partner carer, to bring about an immediate improvement in the quality of life not only of the person with dementia but also all others concerned with their care.

Where the older 24/7 spouse or partner carer has no children, we ask that a family friend attends alongside the 24/7 carer to provide additional support. In this situation the first half day session will deliver a useful stand-alone session by way of introduction to the SPECAL approach, and involve leaving the person with dementia for the minimum of time.Where the person with dementia has no family members to support them, we recommend that a health & social care professional attend our SPECAL Pro course in order as part of their support within an advocacy role.

Our comprehensive programme of coaching support for Family & Friends includes further carer workshops , (PA Plus Two, Three and Four), and these will be available at times throughout the year to provide higher level coaching to enable carers to keep pace with their person’s dementia and ensure that well-being is sustained throughout the person’s life.

The sooner the better…

The sooner after diagnosis that the family can understand the nature of their person’s disability and begin to develop new communication skills, the better.  They can then begin planning within an optimistic framework, and inducting everyone coming into contact with their person, including professionals, into the SPECAL approach.

… but it’s never too late

Constructive guidance is available at any stage in the post-diagnostic journey, as part of a fast track approach where appropriate.   Families need to be reassured that as long as there is someone who still cares about the person with dementia it is never too late to make a difference to their quality of life, however late in the day it may seem.