Over the past fifteen years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of older people presenting to services with changes in their memory and behaviour because of their alcohol use, this is known as Alcohol Related Cognitive Impairment (ARCI). For those working in frontline health, social care and third sector services, we don’t have to look very far to see the problems and devastating consequences. It could be someone losing their way around, getting locked out because they’ve forgotten their keys, falling over after drinking even small amounts of alcohol-or even carer stress following a gradual change in personality from alcohol misuse making caring an even bigger burden. The problems are everywhere. It’s not an easy task to work out the possible ways in which alcohol damages the brain. What is more, detecting the possibility of alcohol related cognitive impairment (ARCI) poses many challenges, particularly how to distinguish from other forms of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

But help is at hand. With a research background in neuropsychology and over 20 years of clinical experience as a consultant for older people with dual diagnosis, Dr Tony Rao has developed a bespoke training package that offers the opportunity for practitioners to gain in-depth knowledge and skills in the assessment, treatment and care of older people with alcohol related cognitive impairment. Whether a professional at any level in health (including mental health nurses; psychiatrists; psychologists; hospital nurses and doctors, GPs, Academic staff, occupational and physiotherapists) and social care, Allied Professionals such as a speech and language therapists or paramedics, dieticians, pharmacists, or those working in the voluntary sector, this course will help learners will improve their diagnostic skills by focussing on the distinct clinical features of ARCI.

By attending the Assessment, intervention, and care for older people with Alcohol Related Cognitive Impairment (ARCI) training course, you will be able to learn how to make quality assessments and identify appropriate interventions and referral pathways in order to reduce risk associated with alcohol use disorders. This will undoubtedly improve the quality of life and reduce the harm from alcohol misuse in a growing population of older people in the “baby boomer” generation. The course will allow learners to practice drawing together learned skills and produce a tailored approach to cognitive rehabilitation. It’s a potential solution not only to improve independence but also to provide better integrated care. There will also be the opportunity for practitioners to discuss their own challenges to assessment and intervention from real life anonymised examples.

This course offers true clinical “immersion” and one that we hope will have an impact on your ability to provide an improved level of care in your everyday practice. After taking the assessment, intervention, and care for older people with Alcohol Related Cognitive Impairment (ARCI) training course, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe trends in alcohol-related harm at population and clinical levels
  2. Describe the pathophysiology and types of ARCI
  3. Screen for ARCI using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment
  4. Reflect on barriers to the assessment, treatment, and care of people with ARCI
  5. Make high quality and appropriate referrals within integrated care pathways to improve health and social outcomes
  6. Implement principles of cognitive rehabilitation into their practice