Dementia and Caregiver Education

A wealth of knowledge for richer lives.

Our programs improve the lives and well-being of people living with dementia and their families by teaching families how to “live well with” rather than just deal with the disease. We offer a variety of programs from one-time classes to multi-session trainings.

To request a customized program or for questions contact Jaime Cobb, V.P. of Dementia and Caregiver Education at 817-877-1199.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Family Caregiver Training

This six session training teaches proven techniques and interventions to successfully care for persons living with a dementia in a healthy manner. The six sessions cover in detail: What to Expect, Communication, Managing Challenging Behaviors, Daily Living & Home Safety, Planning for the Future, and Reducing Stress. Care Partners who completed the training have reported an increased confidence in their caregiver abilities and felt reassured that their loved one is getting proper care.

These six sessions can be presented individually

  • What to Expect

    Understanding what to expect as the dementia progress and how to work with what remains. We discuss the theory of retro-genesis and how to focus on what abilities are remain throughout the progression of the disease.

  • Communication Part 1

    Learn why and how communication changes for persons living with dementia and the best ways we can communicate with them by working the skills they still have. The learned skills include nonverbal communication, redirection and validation.

  • Communication Part 2

    Gain a better understanding and perspective of why persons living with dementia can have challenging “behaviors” and the best strategies to help manage and reduce these forms of communication. We discuss in more detail some common challenges including sun downing, agitation, wandering, hallucinations, and more.

  • Daily Living & Home Safety

    Learn how persons living with dementia see, feel and interact with the world and use this knowledge to help them successfully navigate their environment and prolong their independence in their daily functioning. We discuss how the five senses are effected and how they interpret what they see, hear, feel, smell and taste and how this relates to home safety.

  • Reducing Stress & Coping Skills

    Learn and practice a variety of ways caregivers can provide quality care to persons living with dementia by taking care of themselves. We take a well-being approach and how to physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually take care of ourselves.

  • Planning for the Future

    Prepare for the next steps of the caregiver journey by understanding the basic legal and financial documents caregiving families need to put in place. We also discuss the senior care options, what they provide, and interview questions to help families make informed decisions.

Stress-Busting Program™ for Family Caregivers

The Stress-Busting™ program is proven to help Alzheimer’s and dementia care partners through their journey. The program is available at no cost and meets for 9 weeks in a small group setting. The program is designed to:

  • Improve the quality of life for family caregivers
  • Help caregivers manage their stress and cope better with their lives
  • The Stress Busting program teaches:
  • Stress Management Techniques
  • Relaxation and Coping Strategies
  • Problem Solving and Support

We offer two Stress-Busting programs; one specifically for family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia and another for family caregivers of someone with a chronic illness.

Positive Approach to Care™ Workshops

Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) is a training and advocacy organization offering techniques used by professionals and families working or living with dementia or other brain changes. Jaime Cobb is a PAC Certified Independent Trainer with James L. West.

  • Normal/Not normal Aging

    Using nationally recognized dementia educator Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care™ training, this class helps learners understand and recognize the differences in “normal” and “not normal” aging, and develop new skills related to approach, cueing, and ability to connect with people living with dementia. The workshop emphasizes the value of matching helping behaviors to the person’s needs and retained abilities to promote a sense of control and self-direction. We will address typical issues that occur from early stages of the condition, through mid-disease, and into the final care concerns that are a part of the progression.

  • Positive Physical Approach™ & Hand Under Hand™

    This workshop focuses on care partnering techniques Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) and Hand Under Hand™ (HUH). These skills enable care partners to shift from simply "dealing with the behaviors" to creating a positive and caring environment. Care partners will also learn to recognize signals of “unmet needs and growing distress” and respond in a way that reduces anxiety and improves quality of life.

  • GEMS stages; Using Skills that Make a Difference

    The GEMS workshop offers an overview of Teepa Snow’s dementia classification model. The GEMS model compares different states of being and ability to the characteristics of precious jewels. This dignified metaphor defines many appearances, behavioral changes, skill sets and needs of those living with dementia or other brain changes. This model is a guide toward understanding and individual’s current state of ability and brain function. Understanding them will lead to an adjustment of expectations, modification of cues and support, and more accurate communication and ‘hands on’ care to better meet ever-changing needs.

Bereavement, Grief, and Loss

This course discusses the five stages of grief and the four tasks of mourning that families go through during and after the disease. It also discusses normal grief processes and introduces the hospice philosophy.

Fewer Holiday Hassles

This program explains the progression of the disease and how the holidays will be different this year than last. It covers ideas to share with your family and friends about how to continue to have successful and meaningful holidays with your loved ones. It also gives great gift ideas for caregivers and people with dementia.

Sexuality and Dementia

This course describes the changes that happen in the brain during the progression of dementia and some of the sexual behaviors that may be seen during that time. It also discusses interventions for each.

Behavior Management

This course will identify the most common physical and emotional behaviors seen in those with dementia. It will also address ways to handle the behaviors and explain risk factors and why the behaviors occur.

Eating Changes

This course will explain the causes of appetite loss and swallowing issues in those with dementia. It also provides tips for better eating habits.

Expected changes in physical behaviors

This course describes physical changes associated with dementia and provides interventions that can be used.

Reasons for Challenging Behaviors

This course helps the participant understand how behaviors are related to communication. It describes causes of unwanted behaviors and interventions for each.

Hope for Caregivers

This course discusses how to blend knowledge about dementia with one’s faith and prompts discussions on “where God is” in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Taking Care of You – Caregiver Stress

Stress affects our entire well-being. The program shows caregivers how to recognize their own signs of long-term stress and the best ways to manage and reduce their stress levels.

Dementia Live®

Dementia Live® is a high impact, dementia simulation experience that immerses participants into life with dementia, resulting in a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with cognitive impairment and sensory changes. Dementia Live® can be done individually or in groups ranging in size. Please contact us to learn more about bringing this experience to your group.

Compassionate Touch®

Compassionate Touch® is an evidence-informed, proactive approach that uses focused touch to bring personalized care to persons living with dementia. Personalized approaches are first priority for responding to and preventing behavioral expression, and Compassionate Touch® provides practical tools that create positive outcomes and help acheive person-centered dementia care. 

Healthy Brain Aging

This four part program promotes healthy and independent aging by focusing on six areas that have shown to not only reduce your risk for developing dementia but increases our cognitive health as we age. The six scientifically researched areas are; diet, exercise, sleep, stress, cognitive fitness and staying social. We will discuss the impact our choices in these six areas make on our cognitive health.

This program can be presented as a one-time overview or more in-depth over four classes.

Brain Exercises

This program is an interactive set of sensory brain games. It covers brain breathing, sensory memory, and memory maps.

Types and Causes of Dementia

This program explores the common types and causes of dementia. We discuss the hallmark signs and differences of the four most common progressive dementias; Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Lewy body, and frontal-temporal dementia as well as cover other causes of dementia.

Caring for Someone in Early Stage Dementia

This program covers the common changes that happen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and the best ways to prolong a person’s independence while keeping them safe. We also discuss strategies and helpful tips for families and primary caregivers to take care of themselves in the early stages.

Caring for Someone in Middle Stage Dementia

This program covers the common changes that happen in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and the best ways to prolong a person’s dignity by focusing on what abilities remain. We also discuss strategies and helpful tips for families and primary caregivers to take care of themselves in the middle stages.

Caring for Someone in Late Stage Dementia

This program covers the common changes that happen in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and the best ways to “let go” and provide quality of life. We also discuss strategies and helpful tips for families and primary caregivers to take care of themselves in the late stages.

At the Crossroads: Family Conversations about Dementia and Driving

This thee week course helps families decide when and how individuals with dementia should limit or stop driving. The goal is to prolong independence while protecting the safety of drivers with dementia. Those who have been through this course felt more certain, better prepared, and were more likely to have a plan in place to address driving related issues.

Coffee and Advance Care Planning Conversations

Advance care planning helps you think about your health care values and goals; consider health care choices you may have to make in the future; and make a written plan for the future (advance directive). Join us for coffee and a thought-provoking conversation to help make your wishes known. Reflect on your values and take the first steps toward completing an advance directive. This program is for everyone no matter where you are in life.

Caregiver Guilt: Taking Control of this Destructive Emotion

Guilt is one of the most common emotions among caregivers that adds stress and can be damaging to their sense of well-being and ability to care for their loved one. Join us as we start working through how to take control of caregiver guilt, start practicing forgiveness and improving your well-being!

For more information or to schedule a program contact our Dementia and Caregiver Education department at 817-877-1199 or caregiver@jameslwest.org.

To see the details of our upcoming events visit our Education calendar here.

Dementia and Caregiver Education