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Dementia Care: Communicating When Someone Has Dementia

presented by Teepa Snow

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Teepa Snow receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Teepa Snow has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 57 Minutes

This course will help learners develop better interaction skills when working with people living with dementia (PLwD). Using a consistent and sequential cueing system is part of developing skillful communication in dementia care. Beginning all interactions with a positive physical approach (PPA), a positive personal connection (PPC), and a positive action starter (PAS) greatly reduces the risk of negative encounters and problematic interactions. The use of person-first, “go with the flow” responses and improved non-verbal strategies will be demonstrated to foster better understanding of messages and requests as well as better participation with fewer episodes of distress or frustration.

Meet Your Instructor

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Teepa Snow is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with such challenges and seeks to change and improve life for everyone involved. Her practice has included everything from neuro-intensive care units in tertiary hospitals…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Dementia Changes How We Should Communicate

This chapter will demonstrate attempts to communicate using only words and language. This chapter will also highlight the problems that occur when using these techniques on people in general and for PLwD in specific.

2. Changing Abilities Require Different Strategies to be Successful

This chapter will review three key times when communication is desired. The key times discussed will be: just having a simple conversation – being social, getting the person to do something, and dealing with distress.

3. Forming a Relationship is Part of Determining How to Communicate

This chapter will discuss human preferences for receiving data in a sequential manner for ease of comprehension and processing: visual-verbal-touch. This chapter will also highlight the connection between developing a sense of connection and control when this sequence is adhered to and a sense of loss of control and connection when it is not. Demonstrate the same interaction using sequential cueing. This chapter will demonstrate PPA and discuss its value and use throughout the condition. This chapter will demonstrate PPCs and discuss their value and use throughout the condition. Finally, this chapter will demonstrate PASs and discuss their value and use throughout the condition.

4. Specific Skills for Getting Connected and Getting Started

This chapter will show the use of these techniques in role-play situations to emphasize the development of new skills and ‘breaking’ of old habits Highlight key concepts that are essential in having effective communication when dementia exists – emphasizing non-verbal strategies, use of props, slowing down, and starting where the person is.

More Courses in this Series

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This introductory course provides clinicians, care providers, care supporters, and others interested in these conditions with essential and important information. This course will help in understanding dementia, common symptoms, and highlight some of the various categories of this complex condition. This course is very helpful to everyone who is trying to determine whether what they are noticing is just normal aging or something more. The first step in providing better support and care comes with appreciating what is happening for the person in your care. This course provides basic information and awareness to help begin this process.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This course will provide clinicians and direct care providers with a care planning approach and problem-solving strategy that reduces the risk that challenging behaviors or situations will arise. This happens when care providers are better at understanding the person, their history and needs, the changes the person living with dementia's (PLwDs) brain is experiencing, and the PLwDs efforts to communicate or express distress. The caregiver's ability to plan in advance and effectively and immediately respond to situations greatly reduces the risk that challenging behaviors and situations will occur.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This course is designed to help clinicians and direct caregivers better understand why the person they are trying to help frequently exhibits what are seen as difficult or challenging behaviors that make care assistance problematic or even impossible to deliver. The first part of the course will help caregivers more accurately understand many of the commonly occurring ‘behaviors’ they are experiencing with the person they are trying to help. The next part of the course will focus on looking beyond the disease to look for other possible factors that may be causing or contributing to the challenging behavior. Key factors such as life-long personality traits and life experiences and preferences, environmental conditions and cues, other medical, sensory, or psychological conditions, the structure and flow of the day, and caregiver skills and approaches will be discussed with some selected examples demonstrated via role play. Finally, a problem-solving approach will be presented to help learners reduce the intensity, frequency, or occurrence of challenging behaviors as well as guidance in determining “Is it Worth It?” and “Letting It Go!” for healthier relationships and better outcomes.

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Dementia Care: Using the GEMS States Model for Personal Care Tasks

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This course will help direct care providers and clinicians see beyond the inevitable losses that happen when someone develops and lives with dementia and focus instead on what is still possible when completing ADL tasks. In the course, we will focus on recognizing and making use of retained abilities, skills, and interests from the first signs of the condition until the end of the journey to complete self-care activities. By encouraging the use of a language that highlights the unique and valuable characteristics of each state of function, care partners can better respond to the altered capacity of the person who is changing. This new perspective will foster the development and use of effective strategies that match what is possible and what is needed to engage, interact, and encourage participation in self-care activities.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This course will help clinicians and direct caregivers develop and offer activities and interactive opportunities that are appropriate and effective when someone is living with dementia. The course will help learners to better understand activities regarding their skill demands and value for the person. Emphasis will be placed on providing caregivers with ideas for key types of activities that promote interaction and engagement while reducing distress and isolation.

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Dementia Care: Helping as Abilities are Failing and Life is Ending

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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This course is designed to provide knowledge and skills for clinicians and direct care providers that will enhance the quality of life, reduce the level of distress, and improve the helper’s ability to interact and communicate effectively with the person living with dementia as the condition advances toward the end of life. A focus of the course will be on the symptoms and signals that someone will demonstrate and should be noticed as indicators of changing status and need for an alternate care plan and different interventions to enhance comfort and meet new needs and preference. The goal is that caregivers will partner with the person and other members of the care team to support the individual in either staying when finding comfort and connections or letting go and transitioning through the end of life when it is time.

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