Dementia: Understanding and Responding to Behaviors

The curricula consist of three one-hour in-service training sessions for Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides. The goal is to support the development of knowledge and skills in working with patients with dementia by focusing on:

  • What is Dementia?
  • Common Behaviors and Behavioral Triggers Associated with Dementia: What You Need to Know
  • Responding to Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia

Introduction for Instructors

The "Introduction for Instructors" is a guide for delivering the curricula and should be used by instructors in preparing for the training.  Each unit includes three files: (1) a PowerPoint presentation, (2) an instructor's manual and (3) a participant handbook.

Download And Extraction Instructions For Module 1


MODULE 1 -- What is Dementia?

There is often confusion about the definition of dementia. This module clarifies what dementia is and introduces the participant to some of the major types of conditions resulting in dementia. Participants will learn how Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias affect the brain and why there may be differences in the behaviors of persons with various types of dementia.

MODULE 2 – Common Behaviors and Behavioral Triggers Associated with Dementia: What You Need to Know

In this module, we discuss the common behavioral symptoms seen in persons with dementia and the conditions that often trigger these behaviors. Structured assessments are critical to identifying factors that trigger behavioral symptoms and to devising strategies to effectively address the behaviors. In this module, we review assessment approaches and provide Web-based links to tools for behavioral assessments. Participants have the opportunity to discuss their particular challenges and frustrations in dealing with the behavioral symptoms of dementia and will work in teams to conduct behavioral assessments on residents displaying challenging behaviors.

MODULE 3 -- Responding to Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia

This module provides participants with information on non-drug approaches that have been shown to be effective in preventing, reducing, or alleviating behavioral symptoms of dementia. There are no cookbook approaches to addressing behavioral symptoms, but accurate identification of triggers and documentation of what has worked in the past provides opportunities to prevent some behaviors and to significantly reduce the frequency and severity of others. Participants will have the opportunity to practice intervention approaches through role playing and supervised practice with residents.