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4-Part Webinar Series: Tools to Optimize Quality Dementia Care

04feb1:00 pm2:00 pm4-Part Webinar Series: Tools to Optimize Quality Dementia Care

Event Details

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Series Overview

Join LeadingAge Iowa for a 4-part series that covers tools to optimize quality dementia care. This series of webinars, presented by Kathleen Weissberg from Select Rehabilitation, is a comprehensive look at quality dementia care opportunities. The series begins with an overview of evidence-based interventions to address common “problematic” dementia behaviors. Developing and fostering a person-centered Montessori-based approach for aging and dementia will be explored next. The third installment looks specifically at how providers can tackle loneliness and social isolation in residents with dementia (particularly in light of the COVID pandemic). The series ends with a “design-on-a-dime” approach to setting up a multi-sensory stimulation space that impacts the quality of life of persons with dementia without relying on pharmacology.

Evidence-Based Interventions to Address Dementia Behaviors

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 @ 1 – 2 p.m. CT

Behaviors like catastrophic outbursts and agitation often result from inability to communicate, need for emotional security, sensory issues like overstimulation, or staff responses that do not support purposeful and meaningful engagement.  Behaviors in persons with dementia often go unaddressed because providers lack strategies to address these or use interventions not based on the evidence and therefore not effective.  In this session, evidence-based behavior management and intervention strategies related to pain management, communication, emotional/cognitive state, sensation, agitation, and wandering are examined to help providers reduce unwanted behaviors without relying on medications.  The research related to routine, resident preference, and meaningful engagement in activities is discussed along with their impact on activities of daily living (ADL) performance.  Using a person-centered approach, participants will learn how to adapt activities to match the client’s functional level, modify routines to enhance occupational performance, and environment-based interventions to promote a home-like atmosphere, and foster active engagement at all stages of the disease process.

  • List the triggers and causes of behaviors in persons with dementia.
  • Identify evidence-based interventions to address behaviors related to emotion, sensation and agitation.
  • Discuss the impact of routine and meaningful activity on ADL performance.
A Montessori-Based Approach for Aging and Dementia

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 @ 1 – 2 p.m. CT

Developed in the early 20th century, the Montessori method of teaching holds that when you’re working with individuals, you must consider their needs and capabilities in concert.  What do they like to do?  What are they able to do?  The focus is not on challenging the individual, but instead taking the task a little beyond the comfort zone so individuals still have the opportunity to learn and improve.  The Montessori method of caregiving has a very similar goal: engaging the senses in order to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and loved ones rediscover the world around them.  In this session, participants will learn from a Montessori specialist about the Montessori principles of independence according to one’s ability, and the benefits of the prepared environment.  Specifically, participants will learn about the typical symptoms that can be expected as dementia progresses, the fundamental principles of the Montessori method, how to conduct a Montessori-based session, Montessori-based steps to engagement that reduce unwanted behaviors, issues that may arise with this approach, and using case studies and video examples, how to set up activities/tasks for individuals with dementia using a Montessori approach.
Describe abilities that are spared in persons with dementia that can serve as the basis for effective interventions.

  • Identify the fundamental principles of a Montessori-based approach to dementia programming.
  • List individualized activities that you can implement with individuals with dementia and/or teach your staff to implement to reduce unwanted behaviors and improve engagement.
  • Describe ways to modify the physical environment to support people with dementia.
  • Identify tools that will improve engagement, activities, and communication skills for those in your community.
Tackling Loneliness and Social Isolation for Residents with Dementia

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 @ 1 – 2 p.m. CT

During normal times, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are among the most vulnerable persons in society, depending on family or professional caregivers for their day-to-day survival.  The current pandemic further exacerbates their vulnerability, due to both the morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, and the indirect effects of the pandemic on the social supports upon which they depend.  For those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, social connection means everything and social distancing is a difficult concept for them to understand; persons with dementia are disproportionately affected by social distancing, isolation and lockdown.

How can we help?  Caregivers and nursing home staff play a pivotal role in minimizing social isolation, loneliness, depression, and behaviors in persons with dementia.  Isolation does not need to equal decline!  This session will review practical and cost-effective strategies care providers can implement to impact these areas.  Following the framework of person-centered care, providers will hear about meaningful and purposeful activity, sensory, technology, and wellness strategies they can implement to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of isolation.

  • Describe the scope of the problem related to isolation for residents with dementia.
  • Identify practical approaches to implement person-centered care initiatives while in isolation.
  • Enumerate ways to enhance social connectedness while in isolation.
  • Explain how elements of person-centered approach can minimize behaviors and enhance functional performance while in isolation.
Multi-Sensory Stimulation Rooms for Persons with Dementia

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 @ 1 – 2 p.m. CT

Sensory stimulation uses everyday objects to arouse one or more of the five senses with the goal of either engaging or calming an individual.  Multi-sensory stimulation rooms or spaces are designed for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia so they can safely explore and stimulate all five senses.  The room combines gentle light, movement, music, aromas and tactile objects designed to either calm or stimulate individuals, depending on each person’s needs.  Some ways in which the sensory room has shown to be a positive health promotion tool are through creating a safe place for the patient to go, encouraging a positive therapeutic relationship between staff and patient, providing a place to teach skills and conduct therapeutic activities, establishing a place where crisis de-escalation strategies can be implemented, and helping to promote self-care and recovery.  Activities involved in sensory stimulation are often linked to past interests and can help the person with dementia to build a connection with everyday life while reducing anxiety.

There are a variety of activities and equipment that can be used in this setting and there are many ways the room can be set up to help individualize the sensory room to the person using it.  Often times, multi-sensory rooms are designed in collaboration with a vendor and the result is something that appears juvenile or possibly futuristic with the use of high-tech light displays and gadgets.  It doesn’t have to be that way!  The number one principle in designing a space is “less is more.”

In this session, participants will learn how sensory stimulation impacts the person living with dementia.  Participants will learn how to set up a room or a space in their community using best practice design principles.  This session will offer a “design on a dime” approach to a sensory room and demonstrate to providers how to set up a room or space of their own so they can further impact the quality of life of persons with dementia without relying on pharmacology.

  • Identify calming and stimulating sensory interventions for persons with dementia.
  • List the benefits of multi-sensory stimulation for persons living with dementia.
  • Enumerate design principles to consider when designing a multi-sensory space.
  • Recognize everyday objects, activities, low-tech and sensory inputs to include in a multi-sensory environment to facilitate purposeful engagement.

Kathleen Weissberg, MS, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP, National Director of Education, Select Rehabilitation

Dr. Kathleen Weissberg, (MS in OT, 1993; Doctoral 2014) in her 25+ years of practice, has worked in rehabilitation and long-term care as an executive, researcher and educator.  She has established numerous programs in nursing facilities; authored peer-reviewed publications on topics such as low vision, dementia quality care, and wellness; has spoken at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally, for 20+ State Health Care Associations, and for 25+ state LeadingAge affiliates.  She provides continuing education support to more than 17,000 therapists, nurses, and administrators nationwide as National Director of Education for Select Rehabilitation.  She is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner and a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Practitioner.  She serves as the Region 1 Director for the American Occupational Therapy Association Political Affairs Affiliates and is an adjunct professor at both Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA and Gannon University in Erie, PA.


Registration is per connection needed at a facility and includes the full 4-webinar series. This allows multiple staff members to participate in the education using one connection. Prior registration is required to ensure connection information and applicable materials are distributed prior to the webinar. The registration fee for this webinar is $199 per SDAHO Member facility /$250 per non-member facility. CE: LNHA & SW


(Thursday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST