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Using an Interprofessional Family-Centered Approach to Dementia Care


Tracey Vause-Earland, MS, OTR/L
Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS
Doris Chechotka-McQuade, PhD
Nancy L. Chernett, MA, MPH
Stephen Kern, PhD, MS, OTR/L
Laura N. Gitlin, PhD
Cecilia Borden, EdD, MSN, RN
Jennifer Catalano, MS, OTR/L

The Eastern Pennsylvania-Delaware Geriatric Education Center (EPaD GEC) is funded by the Department of Human and Health Services Grant #D31HP08834

Disclosure: The faculty and planners listed above have declared that there are no (1) significant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial products, goods or services and (2) no unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in this continuing education activity.


"Dementia is a clinical syndrome of loss or decline in memory and other cognitive abilities. It is caused by various diseases and conditions that result in damaged brain cells."
(Alzheimer’s Association. (2008). 2008 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Chicago: Alzheimer’s Association., p.4)

Dementia is not a disease itself, but a group of symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with an individual's social and functional performance. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older. It has become a major public health concern that not only affects the individual and the health care system, but family members as well. Due to the complexity of this condition, assessment, intervention, and caregiver support may be more effective when health care professionals use a collaborative interprofesional approach to dementia care.

This module takes the interprofessional team concept to its fullest expression with the patient and family/caregiver(s) as core team members. The concept of this module is to give health care practitioners and students an understanding of an interprofessional model of dementia care.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • Describe the benefits of using an interprofessional team approach to dementia care.
  • Identify key components to the collaborative process.
  • Identify and classify behaviors that occur with dementia.
  • Examine different models of understanding dementia-related behaviors.
  • Describe interprofessional approaches to prevent, reduce or eliminate disruptive behaviors related to dementia.
Estimated time for completion: 1 hour
Since this module will take approximately 1 hour to complete, it is designed to track your progress allowing you to complete the module in more than one sitting. This progress tracking feature required that you use the same computer each time you return to work on the module.

Technical Requirements: Flash Player 8 or greater
This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in.

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