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Introduction to Dementia

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Introduction to Dementia

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Course Number:

This course will be discontinued effective October 1st, 2018. You will have until December 31st, 2018 to complete the course and print your certificate. The replacement course is located here.

This course is not approved by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

This course begins with an in-depth definition of dementia symptoms, specific types of dementia, and possible causes.

Course Information:
  • Online Training Course
  • Credit Hours: 1
  • Fundamental Precepts of Good Dementia Care
  • The Outlook of a Caring Professional
Helpful Instructions?
 Purchasing Courses for Yourself Purchasing Courses for Yourself:

This Training course is delivered 100% online through our Online Campus. In order to enroll you in a course we will need to collect your First Name, Last Name and Email Address.

When you place your order we will create an account for you, or add the courses to your existing account if you are a return customer. Access to the Online Campus is based on your email address. If you are a return customer, please purchase using the same email address used previously to avoid creating a duplicate account.

The course(s) you purchase will be available within 10 minutes of purchase and your login information will be sent to the email address you provide.
 Purchasing Courses for Others Purchasing Courses for Others:

This Training course is delivered 100% online through our Online Campus. If you are purchasing for others or your employees, please make sure to provide the First Name, Last Name, and Email Address of the person who you are purchasing for.

IMPORTANT: Access to the Online Campus is based on email addresses. If you are purchasing for multiple people, each person must have a unique email address to access the Online Campus. DO NOT USE THE SAME EMAIL ADDRESS FOR DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS!

When you place your order we will create accounts for each individual you are purchasing for. If you are a return customer, please purchase using the same email address used previously to avoid creating duplicate accounts.

Example: Jim is buying a course for Bob. Jim will provide Bob’s First, Last and Email before the course is added to cart. Jim then uses his personal information for the checkout process.

We understand no one likes to give out their information and that’s why we only require the course attendee’s First Name, Last Name and Email to add the course to your shopping cart.

The course(s) you purchase will be available within 10 minutes of purchase and each person’s login information will be sent to the email address you provide.


Course Description

This program will take participants through a dynamic process of care strategies from preadmission through the progression of the disease including last stage complications. Activities are analyzed with particular emphasis on quality of life issues. Research, new trends in care, pharmacological management of dementia as well as self analysis of the quality of care carried out will also be discussed. Emphasis is placed on care provided in the residential care setting.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:
  • 1. Describe the major parts of the brain and the role of each.
  • 2. Briefly discuss how the neurons in our brain work.
  • 3. Define dementia and describe the symptoms of dementia.
  • 4. Describe in detail the decline in mental abilities, or cognition, associated with dementia.
  • 5. Distinguish between reversible and irreversible dementias.
  • 6. List four causes of reversible dementias.
  • 7. List five irreversible dementia diseases.
  • 8. Explain the examinations and tests used to diagnose dementia.
  • 9. Describe the five areas assessed in a mini-mental state examination.

Course Outcomes

Hour One
  • I. Fundamental Precepts of Good Dementia Care
  • a. People who care for persons with dementia have unique values
  • b. The outlook of a caring professional
  • II. Care vs. Management
  • a. The goal should be care extended to the person NOT management of the person
  • III. Anatomy of the Brain
  • a. Functions of the brain
  • b. The two hemispheres of the brain
  • c. Brain communication
  • d. Must use accurate descriptive terms when describing the decline of mental abilities
  • e. Review of the brain
  • IV. Defining Dementia
  • a. Dementia is an observable, often irreversible, decline in mental abilities.
  • b. Dementia refers to an acquired, persistent loss of intellectual functions due to a brain disorder.
  • c. Dementia As An “Umbrella”
  • I. Dementia refers to a “syndrome”, not a specific disease.
  • d. Symptoms of Dementia
  • i. Can affect some or all of the following cognitive functions:
  • 1. Memory
  • 2. Orientation
  • 3. Perception
  • 4. Concentration
  • 5. Language
  • 6. Task Sequencing
  • 7. Judgment
  • ii. Symptoms of Dementia – Exercise
  • V. Types and Causes of Dementia
  • a. Most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease
  • b. Some are reversible through proper treatment
  • c. Others are irreversible and progressive
  • d. Types of irreversible dementias
  • I. Alzheimer’s disease
  • ii. Lewy body disease
  • iii. Parkinson’s disease
  • iv. Multi-infarct (vascular) dementia
  • v. Pick’s disease (also known as Pick disease)
  • vi. Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • vii. Huntington’s disease
  • viii. AIDS dementia complex
  • e. Frequency of Types of Dementia
  • VI. Diagnosing Dementia
  • a. Early Signs of Dementia May Be Very Subtle, Inconsistent, and Vague
  • I. Including:
  • 1. Problems with memory, especially recall of recent events
  • 2. Confusion
  • 3. Personality change
  • 4. Apathy and withdrawal
  • 5. Loss of ability to do everyday tasks
  • b. First Person To Recognize Signs Is Usually Friend, Loved One, or Caregiver
  • i. Often person must be encouraged to seek medical help
  • c. Determining the Cause of Dementia May Require A Variety of Medical Tests
  • I. There is no single “test” for dementia…Diagnosis is still a clinical judgment.
  • d. How Dementia May Be Diagnosed
  • i. Medical Evaluation Includes:
  • 1. Assessment of clinical features
  • 2. Medical history and medications
  • a. Patient History
  • b. Physical Exam
  • 3. Mental status testing
  • a. Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE):
  • I. Orientation
  • ii. Short-Term Memory (Retention)
  • iii. Attention and Calculation
  • iv. Short-Term Memory (Recall)
  • v. Language
  • 4. Laboratory tests
  • a. Urinalysis
  • b. X-Ray
  • c. ECG or EKG
  • 5. Neurologic examination
  • a. CT or CAT scan
  • b. MRI
  • c. EEG
  • d. PET scan
  • e. SPECT scan
  • f. MRSI
  • 6. Brain imaging

Instructor: Josh Allen, RN; Laura Gumban, LVN; Anne Zimmerman, RN

Josh Allen is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in senior living. As the Director of InTouch at Home, Josh oversees all aspects of business development, care, services, and operations for the organization. As a part of the SRG Senior Living family of companies, InTouch at Home delivers personalized care and services to clients living in senior living communities as well as private residences across three states.

Josh also serves on the board of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association, and represents AALNA on the boards of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living and Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations. Josh has previously served as President and CEO of Care and Compliance Group, a leading training solutions provider.

Laura Gumban, LVN is currently the Resident Care Coordinator at the Eskaton Lodge Brentwood in Brentwood California. There, she is responsible or budget maintenance; she is a liaison with the medical community; she interviews, hires, schedules, and supervises clinical staff; she completes resident assessments and quarterly evaluations; and is the director of nursing duties.Laura has been with Eskaton Lodge Brentwood since 2006. Previously she was an MDS Nurse for the Elmhaven Care Center in Stockton, California and was a MDS/TILES Nurse at Heritage Oakes Estates in Balliger Texas.

Anne Zimmerman, RN has worked for Community Education, LLC in California since 2003. There she is responsible for teaching state approved re-certification courses to administrators of group homes; adult residential facilities; and residential care facilities for the elderly. Her background is in consulting, training, and directing care.

Additional Information

Canonical Link No
Course Type Online Course

Introduction to Dementia