Empowering Well-Being in 2024: Resources for People with Dementia on the Pathway to Wellness

Posted by Pam Brandon on Jan 4, 2024 12:30:00 PM


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Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Well-Being, dementia education

Dementia Challenges & Strategies in the Local Community

Posted by Laura Ellen Christian on Nov 9, 2023 9:30:00 AM
You're in for a treat!  AGE-u-cate is honored to welcome a guest blogger, Laurie Scherrer.  Laurie is Programs Director of Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and is an active member of DAA's Executive Board. 

    Through her extensive work in supporting initiatives of DAA and her experience living with dementia, Laurie is a strong advocate for quality of life.  She was diagnosed with young onset dementia in August of 2013 at the age of 55. Unable to continue a professional career she turned her focus towards helping others through their dementia journey, Laurie and her husband, Roy, work continuously to identify triggers that cause her confusion and they make adjustments to overcome obstacles. Laurie is a Dementia Mentor and is active in many support groups. On her website, dementiadaze.com, Laurie shares her feelings, challenges, symptoms, and adjustments in hopes of encouraging other individuals and families living with dementia to explore ways to live beyond dementia.  

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    Topics: dementia friendly, Dementia Friendly America, understanding, dementia education, Dementia friendly community, Dementia Awareness, kindess

    Driving Care Excellence: Group Discussion Hits the Mark in Dementia Training

    Posted by Pam Brandon on Jul 27, 2023 12:00:00 PM




    Discussion or Group Discussion is also referred to as Cooperative Learning. This active study method can lead to higher retention rates and greater skill-building outcomes when applied to dementia training. 

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    Topics: dementia education

    Dementia Capable Systems: Transforming Communities for the Aging Population

    Posted by Pam Brandon on Jun 15, 2023 12:00:00 PM


    Whether dementia is referred to as a public health issue, priority, or crisis, the urgent need for communities globally in creating dementia-capable systems is at a critical point. 

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    Topics: dementia, dementia friendly, dementia training, dementia education, dementia programming, Dementia Care Outreach Education

    Is Your Dementia Program Community Facing?

    Posted by Pam Brandon on Feb 23, 2023 12:45:00 PM


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    Topics: dementia care, dementia, dementia friendly, Dementia Live Training, dementia training, dementia education, Dementia friendly community, Dementia Care Outreach Education, dementia-friendly reading

    From A Great Dementia Coach to an Extraordinary Dementia Champion

    Posted by Pam Brandon on Feb 16, 2023 12:00:00 PM


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    Topics: dementia care, dementia, dementia friendly, dementia training, dementia education, Dementia Awareness, dementia care training

    10 Characteristics of a Successful Dementia Training Coach

    Posted by Ann Germany on Feb 9, 2023 12:00:00 PM

    With NBA's basketball season in full swing and NFL's Superbowl around the corner, no one doubts the incredible impact a good coach has on developing both the physical and mental strengths that lead to the success of sports teams. Today, coaches are proving their value in a diversity of areas: Whole Life Coach, Communications Coach, Wellness Coach, Career Coach, Weight Loss Coach, Business Coach, and even Relationship Coach.

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    Topics: dementia care, dementia training, dementia education, dementia care training

    Six Components that Define Quality Dementia Care Training

    Posted by Pam Brandon on Feb 2, 2023 11:00:00 AM

    In the sea of dementia care training, leaders can be overwhelmed when evaluating options. This article provides practical guidance if you are just getting started in creating a dementia training program or if you are re-evaluating current practices. 

    Before you learn the six components that define quality dementia care training, I'm going to discuss four fundamental truths: 

    We Must Educate, Engage, and Retain Employees

    Aging service providers are experiencing dangerously high staff shortages that impact the quality of care, employee retention, and family satisfaction. These together directly affect the bottom line. 

    Studies reveal a correlation between the lack of investment in care team education and turnover, with staff reporting feeling ill-prepared for their work with older adults, especially those with memory loss. It's time for a change!

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    Topics: dementia care, dementia training, dementia education, dementia care training, dementia programming

    Resource RoundUp: Useful Tools to Support the Aging Services Industry in Igniting Change

    Posted by Laura Ellen Christian on Jan 12, 2023 1:40:49 PM

    Is one of your organization’s goals to invest more in learning, growth and development opportunities for team members?  Or to focus on the customer experience?  Maybe it's to be more of a resource for the industry? 

    A key way to begin chipping away at any goal is to gather information that can support strategies to achieve success. 

    Here are a few quick resources in these top categories: 
    • Staff Training and Education 
    • Resident or Client Engagement 
    • Family and Professional Caregiver Support 

    Staff Training and Education Resources

    How Training has Evolved over the Years

    Take a listen to a conversation between two industry leaders talking about training and education evolutions and strategies for success. 

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    Topics: aging services, Caregiver Training, resources, dementia education, resident engagement, Family Caregiver Education, staff development

    Decreasing the Impact of Elder Home Transitions

    Posted by Julie Boggess on May 19, 2022 12:00:00 PM

    When we think of the word "home" it elicits more emotions and memories than any other word in the English language.  Do we in Aging Services give enough consideration to the emotional impact that leaving home has on elders? Imagine leaving home and believing you will never return. Are we doing enough as caregivers to recognize and acknowledge the impact leaving home has on elders? 






    The Impact of Relocation

    As we age, the need to relocate may occur several times. People may move from an established home of 40 years to a retirement community with desirable amenities or smaller quarters to reduce the burden of property upkeep. They may even move to be closer to family or a residential care facility. An important consideration for families and caregivers is the possible impact of relocation. What do we do to help?

    Our natural responses could be: "It's OK, this is your new home" or "It just takes time to adjust."  Many of us want to respond by giving advice, trying to cheer up our elderly family member, or changing the subject. We mean well, but these responses stifle communication and understanding things from another person’s viewpoint.  No doubt, these are sincere efforts to comfort and reassure, but let's consider how we can take our compassion one step further by employing empathy.  


    What is Empathy?

    Empathy is putting yourself in someone else's shoes in order to imagine what they are going through, understand, and even share their feelings.



    According to Stanford University graduate Ted Talker Mike Robbins, empathy is one of the most critical aspects of creating solid relationships, reducing stress, and enhancing emotional awareness.  

    His 2021 blog provides the following benefits of empathy:

    • Benefits your health (less stress and less negativity which leads people to be in better shape with stronger immune systems)
    • Leads to a happier life
    • Improves communications skills
    • Leads to teamwork
    • Creates a healthy work environment
    • Transcends personal relationships
    • Decreases negativity


    How to Overcome Transition issues with Empathy

    • Ask yourself how you would feel if you were missing home (lonely, sad, scared?) and let yourself feel that for a few minutes.
    • Now observe how the elders feel (angry, sad, worried) by active listening with no interruption.
    • While it can be hard to fully grasp another person's point of view, respect that whatever they're experiencing matters.
    • Then let the person know you understand what was said, for example, "I understand that you are very angry about having to suddenly leave your home" or "I can see that you are very worried about who is taking care of your house while you are away." 

    After acknowledging the feelings, you can then continue by validating, "It must be hard to miss your cat so much."  Giving your care partner the time to express feelings and then validating those feelings is the most helpful approach you can offer because you cannot change anything about the reality of the situation.


    Can empathy be taught?  Absolutely!  Would your staff benefit from a deeper understanding of empathy?

    AGE-u-cate Quality of Life Suite

    REVEAL Aging Course Catalogue




    About the author:

    Julie joined the AGE-u-cate team in 2020 after working 31 years in nursing home operations. Starting in social services and admissions, she moved into management and executive positions in 1990 after obtaining an Illinois nursing home administrator license. Her passion for dementia capable care came early in her career when she had the good fortune to work with and learn from culture change pioneers. Julie is also an adjunct instructor in Gerontology and Aging Services at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. She has two adult children and lives in the Northwest Chicago Suburb of Schaumburg with her husband and three fur babies. She is convinced that she was a lounge singer in a former life.

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    Topics: dementia education, employee training, staff development

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