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Understanding Dementia Care

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Understanding Dementia Care

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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. This program will take participants through a dynamic process of care strategies from preadmission through the progression of the disease including late stage complications. Also presented are unique behavior intervention techniques. 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 Information:
  • Online Training Course
  • Credit Hours: 6
  • Major Parts of the Brain and the Role of Each
  • Symptoms of Dementia
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 Objectives

Module 1 Objectives:
  • 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 5 areas assessed in a mini-mental state examination.

Module 2 Objectives:

  • 1. Identify the leading cause of dementia in older adults.
  • 2. Describe 8 diseases that cause dementia, including the causes and characteristics of each.

Module 3 Objectives:

  • 1. Explain 5 common co-morbid medical conditions among elderly residents with dementia, including signs/symptoms, causes, and interventions.
  • 2. Discuss the special physical and ADL needs and care considerations for persons with dementia.
  • 3. Discuss the pre-appraisal assessment and service planning for a resident with dementia.
  • 4. List five ways you can help a resident having problems with activities of daily living.
  • 5. List five ways you can help a resident having problems with eating and nutrition.
  • 6. List three interventions that should be followed by the caregiver when assisting the client with dysphagia to eat.
  • 7. Name the causes of skin breakdown.
  • 8. Name five ways you can help a resident maintain a good skin condition.
  • 9. Discuss the causes of incontinence.
  • 10. Name three interventions to keep a resident continent for as long as possible.
  • 11. List five ways you can help a resident who is having problems with incontinence.
  • 12. Describe why dementia residents may experience more falls.
  • 13. Discuss ways to help prevent falls.

Module 4 Objectives:

  • 1. Define the “Three Ds.”
  • 2. Discuss important questions to ask when conducting a behavior and social assessment of a resident.
  • 3. Identify five key factors to consider to determine the appropriateness of a resident placement in your community.
  • 4. Explain the Solution Focused Model.
  • 5. Describe appropriate changes in the focus of activities for each of the three stages of dementia.
  • 6. Explain the core activity programs that should be offered.
  • 7. Define Resident Centered Care.
  • 8. Discuss the medications used for the treatment of dementia and the symptoms of dementia.

Course Outline

Hour One

  • Pretest
  • A. Fundamentals precepts of dementia care
  • 1. Care vs. Management
  • B. Anatomy of the Brain
  • 1. Functional areas
  • 2. Neurons
  • C. Introduction to Dementia
  • 1. Definition
  • 2. Symptoms
  • a. Memory
  • b. Orientation
  • c. Language
  • d. Judgment
  • e. Perception
  • f. Concentration
  • g. Task sequencing
  • 3. Types and causes of Dementia
  • a. Reversible and Irreversible Dementias
  • b. Frequency of types

Hour Two

  • A. Diagnosing Dementia
  • 1. Clinical features
  • 2. Medical history and medications
  • 3. Mental status testing
  • 4. Laboratory tests
  • 5. Neurologic examination
  • 6. Brain imaging
  • B. Alzheimer’s Disease
  • 1. Characteristics of Alzheimer’s
  • a. Amyloid Plaques
  • b. Neurofibrillary Tangles
  • 2. Changes in the brain
  • a. Preclinical
  • b. Mild Alzheimer’s disease
  • c. Moderate Alzheimer’s disease
  • d. Severe Alzheimer’s disease
  • 3. Alzheimer’s Disease: Risk Factors
  • a. Age
  • b. Family history
  • c. Heredity (Genetics)
  • d. Sex
  • e. Mild cognitive impairment
  • f. Lifestyle
  • g. Education level
  • h. Head injury

Hour Three

  • A. Other Dementias
  • 1. Lewy body disease
  • a. Disease
  • b. Features
  • c. Signs
  • d. Cause
  • e. Treatment
  • f. Prognosis
  • 2. Vascular dementia
  • a. Disease
  • b. Symptoms
  • c. Onset
  • d. Treatment
  • e. Prognosis
  • 3. Frontotemporal dementia (also known as Pick’s disease)
  • a. Disease
  • b. Symptoms
  • c. Treatment
  • d. Prognosis
  • 4. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
  • a. Disease
  • b. Onset
  • c. Symptoms
  • d. Diagnosis
  • e. Treatment
  • 5. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
  • a. Disease
  • b. Symptoms
  • c. Categories
  • d. Diagnosis
  • e. Treatment
  • 6. Huntington's Disease
  • a. Disease
  • b. Genetics
  • c. Symptoms
  • d. prognosis
  • e. Treatment
  • f. Prognosis
  • 7. HIV/AIDS
  • a. HIV and Dementia
  • b. AIDS Dementia Complex
  • (i) Disease
  • (ii) Symptoms
  • (iii) Treatment

Hour Four

  • A. Co-morbidity
  • 1. Respiratory infection
  • 2. Urinary tract infection
  • 3. Dysphagia and aspiration
  • 4. Skin breakdown
  • B. Physical of residents with dementia
  • 1. Physical Care Assessment
  • 2. Physical care and dementia
  • C. Pre-appraisal
  • D. Fundamentals of ADL Care
  • 1. Dressing
  • 2. Grooming
  • 3. Bathing
  • 4. Nutrition and eating
  • E. Nutrition and dementia care problems
  • 1. Communication issues
  • 2. Lack of cues
  • 3. Noise
  • 4. Stress
  • 5. Medication
  • 6. Visual impairment
  • 7. Oral problems
  • 8. Mealtime issues

Hour Five

  • A. Incontinence Care
  • 1. Goals
  • 2. Types
  • a. Stress incontinence
  • b. Urge incontinence
  • c. Overflow incontinence
  • d. Functional incontinence
  • 3. Fundamentals of incontinence care
  • B. Dementia and Falls
  • 1. Fall risk
  • 2. Prevention
  • C. The three D’s: Dementia, delirium, and depression
  • 1. Dementia
  • 2. Delirium
  • 3. Depression
  • D. Behavioral History and Social Assessment
  • 1. Causes of behavioral problems
  • a. Physical
  • b. Emotional Health
  • c. Environmental
  • d. Tasks
  • e. Communication
  • E. Solution focused model
  • F. Modifying behaviors
  • 1. Anger and agitation
  • 2. Aggression
  • 3. Anxiety/restlessness
  • 4. Sundowning
  • 5. Disruptiveness
  • 6. Sleep Disturbances
  • G. Meeting psychosocial needs

Hour Six

  • A. Activities for dementia residents
  • 1. Core programs
  • a. Cognitive/mental
  • b. Physical--large and fine motor skills
  • c. Life Skills/Work activities
  • d. Cultural and religious
  • e. Sensory and perceptual
  • f. Pet care
  • g. Individual and group activities
  • h. Outdoor activities
  • B. Dementia programming considerations
  • 1. Normalizing a resident’s day
  • 2. An example of dementia programming
  • C. Resident centered care
  • D. Working with staged abilities
  • 1. Stage 1
  • 2. Stage 2
  • 3. Stage 3
  • E. Tips for managing specific behaviors
  • 1. Yelling out
  • 2. Wandering
  • 3. Sundowning
  • 4. Crying
  • 5. Stripping
  • 6. Hallucinations/delusions/paranoia
  • 7. Physically disruptive behavior/aggression
  • F. Medications in dementia care
  • 1. Treating the disease
  • a. Cholinesterase inhibitors
  • b. NMDA receptor antagonist
  • 2. Treating the symptoms
  • a. Antidepressants
  • b. Antipsychotics
  • c. Anxiolytics (also known as anti-anxiety medications)
  • d. Mood stabilizers, such as Depakote

Online Final Exam


Sandra Flores, RN
br /> Sandra Flores, RN is a respected educator, consultant, and published author for the Assisted Living industry. Sandi is past president of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association representing the organization in Washington, DC as a board member of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living. She serves as a consultant on resident care with over 3000 beds under clinical management. She also provides expert witness for legal review to industry providers. As an educator, Sandi has instructed more than twenty thousand residential care administrators and caregivers throughout the western United States. Sandi also co-authors a monthly column in the magazine Geriatric Nursing.

Additional Information

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Course Type Online Course

Understanding Dementia Care