Helping families care for their senior loved ones


• No charge to attenD & Lunch provided
• Content covers Beginning-to-advanced material
• Registration Required
• 6 Hours of CEs offered for Nurses
• Each attendee receives a "Certificate of Attendance" for 6 hours of training

In this translational event: Nurses will gain from the professional clinical content; Families will be brought alongside the nurses’ learning. Everyone is welcome!

Grievance Policy. Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to CES, 1020 Osterville West Barnstable Rd, Marstons Mills, MA 02648. Grievances will initially be directed to the training instructor. Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems. If you have questions or concerns, contact Commonwealth Educational Seminars at (800) 376-3345.

Accommodations for the Differently Abled. Commonwealth Educational Seminars’ training facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations,please contact: Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly at 615-675-4345.


Call VERANDA MINISTRIES 615-675-4345

Program description & objectives

What will be discussed?

This workshop is specifically designed for medical providers (nursing, and behavioral health professionals (therapists, mental health professionals, social workers, supervisors, administrators, and hands-on care staff), who work with families to educate and administer skills transfer to advance the caregivers skill set in providing hands on care for loved ones with dementia. Informal, family caregivers are also invited to attend, as the clinical information is provided alongside the translational language skills all providers must gain to support families and other non-paid caregivers. Families will gain additional resources for care administration.

The first part of the session activities will provide learners with a foundational understanding of dementia through a strengths based approach that describes both the neurological changes of the disease process, as well as retained skills and abilities.Common problematic interactions and situations will be decoded using this information, leaving participants with a better understanding of the brain failure that is dementia. Evidenced-based care partnering techniques to improve challenging care situations commonly referred to by clinical staff as “behavior management” will be introduced. Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA), and Hand-under-Hand™ (HuH) techniques will be taught to help all care partners (clinical and non-clinical) reduce distress, encourage acceptance of assistance, and improve outcomes for both providers and family members living with loved ones who have dementia. Participant engagement will include practicing common modifications of these techniques that address progressive levels of dementia, and assist participants in technique utilization at each stage of the disease.

The second part of the session will focus on the person-centered identification of the unmet needs of the person living with dementia (PLWD). Attendees will learn to identify the 10 Physical and Emotional expressions of Unmet Needs to demystify challenging situations that the scientific literature couches simply as inevitable “behavioral manifestations of the disease.” Attendees will be guided to implement the verbal and physical interventions to address the PLWD’s unmet need. Behavioral health professionals will enhance mastery in physical interaction skills as well as changes they can make to their own verbal behaviors that can help facilitate communication and care challenges in dementia care.

The progression of the disease will be examined through a function-based, practical dementia classification tool: the GEMS® Model. GEMS® can be utilized to classify and communicate a state or stage of dementia, recognizes the dynamic nature of the human brain and its abilities, and as well as a means to improve interaction and provide support.  Current available scales classify changes based on a person’s lost skills. Because the GEMS®sees individuals as precious, unique, and capable, the tool encourages a care partnership and is the core of this model, thus providing an invaluable tool to assist with changing abilities that impact relationships and expectations. Professionals will have a tool to educate families that is understandable, provides clear, concise descriptions, and helps the families with both acceptance and finding a path forward with the disease. Participants will learn how to partner with a Sapphire, Diamond, Emerald, Amber, Ruby or Pearl’s cognitive and physical abilities, to lessen caregiver burden and improve outcomes. The session is highly interactive, teaching hands-on skill building for immediate use in clinical and non-clinical interaction and daily care provision.

What are the teaching goals?

By the completion of the six (6) hour session, participants will be able to:

1. Describe brain changes as dementia progresses (e.g., what is lost and retained, role of vision, and sensory awareness and processing).

2. Demonstrate care partnering skills including the Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) technique to approach and connect, and the Hand-under-Hand® technique to guide and assist PLWD.

--Participants will demonstrate and practice the common modifications by level of dementia that can reduce distress, encourage acceptance of assistance, and improve outcomes for both people living with dementia and providers.

3. Participants will identify the 10 Physical and Emotional Unmet Needs to demystify challenging situations in dementia. Participants will apply of the knowledge gained during the course of the day, and practice the verbal and physical techniques to intervene and try and address the PLWD’s unmet need.
--List basic communication strategies to connect and engage a person living with dementia

4. Describe the utility of a GEMS® dementia progression classification system and adapt communication strategies to connect and engage in ways that are helpful.

5. Identify skills and strengths of each of the 6 GEMS states
--Identify agenda vs goals to find moments of joy
--Describe the difference between giving up vs letting go