Mastering The Art of Dementia Care

Great dementia care techniques are built on a solid foundation of understanding what dementia is, how it develops, and how it changes a person’s perception of the world. This module helps learners begin to understand dementia from both the viewpoint of someone living with it and from what current medical research teaches us about the causes of dementia.

The VITAL 5 Pillars™ are the 5 key principles from which good dementia care techniques derive. A solid understanding of and ability to apply these five principles can dramatically improve a person’s ability to serve others in ways that reduce challenging behavioral expressions, minimize stress, and ensure truly person-centered care. This module explores one of the biggest problems in healthcare: the Task Trap, along with how to truly be ‘in the moment’ with those we serve.

The VITAL 5 Pillars™ are the 5 key principles from which good dementia care techniques derive. A solid understanding of and ability to apply these five principles can dramatically improve a person’s ability to serve others in ways that reduce challenging behavioral expressions, minimize stress, and ensure truly person-centered care. This module explores how to accommodate sensory deficits, the nuances of validating others’ emotional experience, and how to approach others in ways that are consistent with how they see themselves.

Whether interacting with those living with dementia or anyone else, great communicators understand the need to be PRESENT. That is, they attend to Pacing, Recognizing and responding to the emotional message, Eye contact, Space, Exaggerated gestures if necessary, interpersonal Noise, and Tone of voice. This module covers these and other subtle factors that affect our ability to apply the VITAL 5 Pillars.

The VITAL 5 Pillars™ are over-arching principles for excellent dementia care and they form the rationale behind a wide variety of techniques. Since no two people living with dementia are alike, care partners benefit from having as many tools, techniques, and strategies as possible at their disposal. This exciting presentation uses real world case studies and examples to help learners see how to immediately put the strategies into practice.

Although Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 70% of dementia cases, there are many different dementing illnesses. In this segment, participants will learn more about Parkinson’s dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies, vascular dementia, fronto-temporal degeneration, and other illnesses. Learners will discover how symptoms and interventions vary based on the type of dementia a person is living with.

One of the most challenging things care professionals do is develop strategies to influence residents whose behavior is disruptive or dangerous to themselves or others. The last several years of brain health research have yielded some key insights regarding what can be done to reduce out-of-character behavior and help people living with dementia function better. This module will outline the research and present learners with a variety of non-pharmacological interventions that are often very effective.

Whether they have a title of leadership or not, everyone influences those around them. Great care professionals are conscious of the effect they have on others and work to lead in ways that elevate those around them. Learners will conclude this course by discovering some of the important things they can do to become great leaders who inspire their associates to be their best.

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