It is a social and political demand to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge of dementia. Within nursing education it is also a request to move young students who often possess stigmatizing attitudes to demented persons towards a more positive, empirically based approach to dementia care.

This article argues for an introduction of Alzheimer’s disease as a condition of suffering in the family. Dementia as suffering calls for a pluralistic healthcare perspective built upon neuropathophysiology, communication, psychology, pedagogy and nursing practice- and meta theories. Furthermore, the pluralistic approach offers nursing students a platform to catch suffering from the perspective of patients and families and to incorporate altruistic values in dementia care. Following the structure of a didactic, relational model the article carefully presents dementia classroom teaching. Cognitive as well as aesthetic learning contents and processes are in focus.