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Practical Strategies for Working with Cognitively Impaired Individuals

presented by Rob Winningham

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Financial: Rob Winningham has a financial relationship with Scientific Advisor for Linked Senior, Speaker/Teacher for Activity Connection, Speaker and content developer for Masterpiece Living, and Partner with Northwest Rehab & Wellness who products and services are mentioned in this course. Rob Winningham receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Rob Winningham 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 support@medbridgeed.com. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Many times cognitively impaired patients are unable to learn basic ideas and compensatory strategies, which impedes progress in learning new motor behaviors and reduces the ultimate efficacy of therapy. In this course, we will discuss many strategies and interventions designed to enhance some patients’ abilities to encode new declarative memories. We will discuss short-term strategies that can be used without cognitive rehabilitation, and then we will discuss longer-term interventions. We will also work to overcome the possible challenge of creating interventions that yield improvements that generalize beyond the specific task or exercise done in the clinic. This course is the third of a five-part series.

Meet Your Instructor

Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Dr. Rob Winningham has 25 years of experience researching human memory and has largely focused on older adults and ways to enhance their mental functioning and quality of life. He creates brain stimulation activities for over 10,000 retirement communities and rehabilitation facilities as a part of Dr. Rob’s Cranium Crunches on activityconnection.com and helps create…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Executive Functioning is Key

The idea that encoding new memories is based on rehearsal is not complete. In order to maximize cognitive ability, executive functioning in general and attention in particular must be maximized. The importance of these principles is demonstrated, and strategies are introduced that therapists and other professionals can use to maximize attention, in the moment, even without long-term cognitive rehabilitation. Common challenges experienced when people lose inhibitory abilities are also discussed.

2. Retention Testing

Testing clients has a number of positive benefits, including focusing clients on the to-be-remembered information and giving them rehearsal trials. We will discuss how to take advantage of retention testing, in an effort to help people make new declarative memories and learn new compensatory strategies.

3. The Generation Effect

Another empirically supported strategy to enhance executive functioning and attention is the Generation Effect. The Generation Effect refers to an enhanced ability to remember ideas, information, or compensatory strategies that one actively figured out versus having the information passively presented. Visualization and the use of signs are also explained in this chapter.

4. Putting It All Together and Getting Help from Caregivers

Caregivers can either impede therapeutic progress by doing things for their clients that the clients are able to do, or caregivers might impede learning by supporting behaviors in a different sequence than the therapist was trying to do. Clients can get additional rehearsal trials by explaining to their caregivers how they need to perform a certain task. We will discuss how a quick conversation with a caregiver can improve therapeutic outcomes.

More Courses in this Series

Overview of Memory and Cognition Changes with Aging

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Overview of Memory and Cognition Changes with Aging

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Memory ability is determined by a multitude of factors, many of which are under our control. There are a number of problems that need to be addressed, including what factors can be manipulated, which interventions will be effective and for whom, all in an effort to maximize cognitive ability and therapeutic outcomes for all clients. We will discuss the Reserve Hypothesis, explanations as to why people who are more cognitively engaged have better cognitive ability, and whether we can intervene and help people improve their cognitive abilities. Dosing and prognoses, as a function of the severity of cognitive impairment, will also be addressed. This course is the first of a five-part series.

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Neuropsychology of Aging

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Neuropsychology of Aging

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
How do we know what the underlying neurological causes of cognitive impairment (or unwanted behaviors) are? How do we know when a patient is capable of learning a new compensatory strategy or motor skill? In this course, we will discuss how and why cognitive abilities change, with normal aging and various types of dementia. How executive functioning (e.g., attention, inhibition, awareness) is related to one’s ability to learn, remember, and control his/her behavior is explored. Strategies for therapists and others to modify their interventions to maximize cognitive ability and therapeutic outcomes will be presented. This course is the second of a five-part series.

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Cognitive Rehab Strategies: Home Exercises, Individual & Group Therapy

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Cognitive Rehab Strategies: Home Exercises, Individual & Group Therapy

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
There is increasing evidence supporting the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation interventions and cognitive stimulation programming. In this course, we will discuss some of that evidence and then explore a wide range of materials that can be used by therapists, caregivers, and others. It is important to know which types of exercises will exercise which cognitive abilities and parts of the brain, so as to target areas that need to be improved. Best practices will also be discussed to give attendees a wide range of skills and knowledge related to cognitive rehabilitation. This course is the fourth of a five-part series.

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Responding to Unwanted Behaviors & Motivating Clients in Therapy

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Responding to Unwanted Behaviors & Motivating Clients in Therapy

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Motivation is possibly the best predictor of therapeutic success among older adults with or without cognitive impairment. However, most therapists and practitioners have very little training in the psychology of motivation and how to maximize it. In this course, we will explore factors that affect motivation, including depression. Theories of motivation that can be used to design many interventions to maximize patient motivation for and engagement in the therapeutic process are discussed. Caregivers and medical professionals need as many tools as possible when it comes to reducing unwanted behaviors commonly seen in people who have dementia. We will discuss how memory ability and behavior affect the level of care needed and how to manage behavioral challenges to maximize independence and safety. Using the knowledge of these cognitive and behavioral changes, many techniques will be offered for preventing and responding to emotional outbursts and behavioral problems (e.g., redirection, knowing the person, music therapy and other more). This course is the fifth of a five-part series.

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