Scaling up the Canadian Remote Access for Dementia Learning Experiences (CRADLE+)

The project

Many employers in the in-home care, nursing, and retirement homes sectors struggle to keep up with increasing demand for services, and nationwide there are hundreds of thousands of unfilled UCW positions. In addition, UCWs frequently experience unwarranted stress in the workplace because of injuries, physical strain, lack of training, unstable work hours, and discrimination — all of which affect their self confidence and job satisfaction.

The Canadian Remote Access for Dementia Learning Experiences (CRADLE) is a free online dementia care training available in multiple languages, which explores evidence-informed, person-centred approaches to supporting a person living with dementia as well as their care partners. Spearheaded by Conestoga College, it is the first, fully-online, multilingual education opportunity specifically designed for unregulated care workers (UCWs). 

CRADLE targets three populations as the primary beneficiaries: newcomers to Canada working as UCWs, UCWs working in rural and remote areas, and nursing home and home care employers across Canada. 

The Future Skills Centre is investing $1.65 million  to expand the CRADLE program. This follows an initial investment of almost $1.2 million. 

Two seniors sitting in armchairs in a hospital setting

Skills training/career service provided

CRADLE is an online course that introduces learners to five seniors living with dementia and offers practical yet evidence-based approaches to dementia care using interactive features and rich media. The content reflects real-world complexities of caring for people living with dementia since it is designed by UCWs and employers, advocacy groups, educators, and policymakers. 

Early results 

Over 10,800 individuals have registered for the English, French, Mandarin or Tagalog version of the program. Preliminary analyses of surveys completed before and after course completion reveal that the online course significantly improved survey respondents’ knowledge of dementia and that survey respondents were highly satisfied with all five of the course’s modules.

Next phase

CRADLE+ will advance the project’s aims to empower unregulated care providers who are supporting people living with dementia across the country by developing five additional modules, translating CRADLE content into two Indigenous languages, and tailoring its recruitment campaign to target rural and remote communities in collaboration with its national partners. 

Additional information

CRADLE’s free online education courses are open and are designed to empower unregulated care workers to provide evidence-informed and person-centred dementia care.

Learn more and visit the course registration page to sign up. Learners who complete the course will be provided a certificate.

If you are an employer interested in registering staff for CRADLE, organizing a group-facilitated session, or applying for a 1-year loan of a mobile internet stick to support high speed internet connection, please contact

Evaluation Strategy

This project is evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation focuses on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

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