A free online course, to support medicine use for older people with impaired sight or hearing, has been launched by the University of Strathclyde.

The MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), offered in partnership with platform provider FutureLearn, will be available to learners around the world.

The course is aimed at people with a professional interest in the subject, notably health and social care professionals, as well as students, family carers and people considering a career in these professions.

It will be taught by university academics and health professionals with expertise in pharmacy and nursing.

The four-week MOOC will teach scholars about the medicine-related needs older people with sensory impairment and how to support these needs.

Registration is now open for the course, which has been developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the University of the Highlands and Islands, and the Research Institute for the Care of Older People. It has been funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, through the SIPA2 (Improving the Pharmaceutical Care of Older People with Sensory Impairment) Project.

Professor Margaret Watson, of Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, who is leading the MOOC, said: “We have an ageing population and with this comes greater ill health. It also means people are more likely to have impairment to their sight or hearing.

“Older people with sensory impairment can experience many difficulties at every stage of their medicine journey, from ordering and obtaining to storing and administering their medicines. This course will discuss these challenges, and potential solutions to address them.

“We are using lay terminology throughout the course to make it accessible to anyone with an interest in this subject.

“The Dunhill Medical Trust is very enthusiastic about this project and we are pleased to have their support.”

Irene Oldfather, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), said: “The ALLIANCE is supportive of all learning opportunities for health and social care staff that puts older people at the heart of listening and learning.

“We encourage uptake of this really informative MOOC to encourage supportive approaches to medicines and older people with sensory impairment.”

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, with a focus making on lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling part of everyday life. FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities and has helped over 18 million learners taking short online courses, microcredentials, and undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve their working lives.