Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: An Overview

An online continuing education course for nurses, medical health care professionals, and other interested individuals.

Every 68 seconds another American develops Alzheimer's disease. Education and training in dementia care for health care staff has been identified as a priority by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease (NPAAD) developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set as a goal enhanced care quality and efficiency for the Alzheimer’s and dementia population. High-quality care should be provided from the point of diagnosis onward in settings including doctor’s offices, hospitals, people’s homes and nursing homes. Care quality should be measured accurately and coupled with quality improvement tools. This instructional course has been designed for nurses, activity therapists, nursing assistants and other healthcare staff who are or may be caring for patients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Knowledge of dementia is critical for providing the specialized care that this disease requires. Therefore, education related specifically to the various dementias is critical for effective care for this population.

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Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define dementia and describe three stages of dementia.
  2. Identify two reversible and nonreversible causes of dementia.
  3. Describe the typical procedures for diagnosing dementia.
  4. Describe two types of nonpharmacological interventions for dementia.
  5. Identify two medications for dementia and one potential side effect.
  6. Describe how to prevent assaultive behavior.
  7. Describe why antidepressant medication and falls is a concern.
  8. Identify two strategies to help prevent Sundown Syndrome
  9. List two methods for helping families cope with dementia.


Chapter 1: Introduction to Dementia

  • CMS Priority
  • Group of Disorders
  • Many Etiologies
Chapter 2: Defining Dementia
  • Definition
  • Stages of Dementia
  • Epidemiology and Risk Factors
Chapter 3: Classification and Types of Dementia
  • Description
  • Nonreversible Dementias
  • Potential Reversible Dementias
Chapter 4: Correlates of Dementia
  • Behavioral
  • Normal vs. Abnormal Aging
  • Physiological
Chapter 5: Diagnostic Considerations
  • MCI vs. Dementia
  • Assessment Methods
  • Neuroimaging
Chapter 6: Medical Treatment
  • Medication
  • Nutrition and Health Maintenance
Chapter 7: Nonpharmacological Treatment and Prevention
  • Mental Exercise
  • Physical Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Stress Reduction
  • Environmental Considerations
Chapter 8: Non-pharmacological Management of Behavior Problems
  • Types of Agitated Behavior
  • Always Rule Out Delirium
  • Sample Interventions for Common Problems
Chapter 9: Problem Solving Strategies for Caregivers
  • Understand the Problem
  • Devise and Implement a Plan
  • Evaluate and Revise the Plan
Chapter 10: Intervention for Affective Disturbances
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Disturbances
Chapter 11: Special Problems
  • Agitation and Aggressive Behavior
  • Yelling and Screaming
  • Wandering
  • Delirium
  • Antidepressant Medication and Falls
  • Sundowning
Chapter 12: Managing Caregiver Stress
  • Stress and Memory
  • Helping Families Cope
  • Caring for the Caregiver
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $55.00

Contact Hours: 5.5

Course Author

Chris Wolf

Dr. Chris Wolf is a clinical and neuropsychologist who is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. He is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology and also Behavioral Health Practice. He is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Dr. Wolf has been a Clinical Neuropsychologist with the Department of the Army since 2009. He diagnoses and treats active duty soldiers returning from combat who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

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