Understanding Dementia logo






Understanding Dementia is a Twyford-based charity founded in 2018 by Shirley Pearce, BSc, MRCOT. The organisation provides training to enable family carers and health professionals to better understand dementia and lessen its impact on those living with it and those that surround them.

Before creating her innovative training programmes, Shirley gained many years of experience working with people with dementia, progressing from care assistant to nurse, then occupational therapist and SPECAL practitioner with the Contented Dementia Trust, developing her knowledge further by studying acknowledged experts in the field.

The training focuses on promoting the wellbeing of the individual, helping them to function at their best. The approach is deliberately simple to enable anyone to use it and for it to become widely known so that dementia, and those who live with it, are better understood.

The courses are delivered online over 8-9 weeks. They explain the nature of dementia, how it differs from normal age-related changes in memory and behaviour, and how it can disrupt wellbeing. There is a simple ABC guide to working positively with the condition and its symptoms rather than fighting them. When all aspects of wellbeing are supported, stress levels reduce and physical, mental and cognitive abilities improve. Activities of daily living become easier and the caring role becomes less frustrating, more effective and more rewarding.