Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Share this free course

Supporting older people with learning disabilities and their families
Supporting older people with learning disabilities and their families

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Session 1: Growing older and behaviours that challenge others


What does excellent care and support for older people with learning disabilities look like? How do you know when you see it? How can it be replicated across different settings? And who needs to be involved in delivering it?

This course has been developed from a research project [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] that explored how to improve the care and support for older people with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge others, and their families. The research involved people with learning disabilities, family carers, and health and social care practitioners at every stage. To date there hasn’t been a strong focus among policy-makers or researchers across the UK on the needs of this population as they age. In our research, we looked for examples of excellence, so that good practice can be learned from and shared.

In this course you will be introduced to real life examples from our research. You will meet four people who featured in our project (Becky, Geoff, Robin and Susie), who live in a range of settings with very different support needs. They are all people with learning disabilities who are getting older, and who – at some point in their lives – have been described as displaying behaviours that may challenge others. The lives of Becky, Geoff, Robin and Susie will help you to consider what underpins excellent care for people as they get older. In the final session of the course you will pull all your learning together, and reflect on the changes you can make in your own work and practice to improve people’s lives.

You will also meet a panel of experts who will bring their perspectives to the issues raised throughout the course. Our experts are:

An image of two people sitting at a table and smiling.

Dawn Wiltshire and Pam Bebbington are both members of My Life My Choice, a self-advocacy organisation for people with learning disabilities. They are supported on the panel by Lisa Davidson.

An image of a woman sitting at a desk wearing headphones.

Gail Hanrahan is a carer and one of the lead family advocates from Oxfordshire Family Support Network.

An image of a man sitting at a desk wearing headphones.

Ben Briggs is a learning disability nurse and the Senior Clinical Advisor on Learning Disability at the national Nursing Directorate, NHS England.

This course is for anyone working with older people with learning disabilities, including those whose behaviour may challenge others; it is for registered professionals and non-registered health and social care workers. There is an accompanying course that is specifically for the family carers: Caring for an older family member with learning disabilities

Interested in taking your learning further? You might find it helpful to explore the Open University’s Health and Social Care courses and qualifications.