5:02:30 PM

WORKSHOP 1 - Understanding the World of Alzheimer's
WORKSHOP 2 - Non Verbal Communication
WORKSHOP 3 - Verbal Communication
WORKSHOP 4 - Listening Skills
WORKSHOP 5 - Tools for Behaviors
WORKSHOP 6 - Tools for Caregiving


About yourself and any other facilitators
The similarities between Alzheimer's care and Improvisation

  • Class Rituals
  • Name tags
  • Handouts
  • Discussion evaluation at the beginning of each class
  • Written evaluation at the end of each class

Go through packets of Information. I used a spiral notebook so they could add their handouts and worksheets in each week.

ICE BREAKER: Is this your first class in a series or maybe the first time you are trying to use new tools for teaching. Please make sure you check out the teaching tips first, especially the using Improv and interactive games. Use something that is very safe and gets the group up and moving and talking to one another.

The best one I like to use is the Human Scavenger Hunt. (click for a printable PDF file)

Here is my version. Feel free to put in your own items. I have also adapted this to be group specific for certain places or have had to adapt it for a smaller group.

EXERCISE: Get in Line

* Remember that we need to explain very complex terms and ideas in the simplest way possible. I am not saying that your staff or class is
simple-minded but that there are all levels of understanding in each
class. Above and beyond everything - Find a way that is best for you.

DISCUSSION: What is dementia ?


  • What is dementia?
  • What is Alzheimer's disease?
  • You may have to simplify.


  • What words do you think of when you hear Alzheimer's disease?

* I write the words that people say on the flip chart for Alzheimer's down so I can refer back to them at a later time. Example: Normally I hear, frustration, memory, anger, can't do for themselves anymore, sad, gets confused. Later I might refer to this when talking about the world of the person. That we did not say joy, laughter or happiness but it is there.

Okay first let's talk about dementia and what it is.

The loss of intellectual functions (such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning) of sufficient severity to interfere with a person's daily functioning. Dementia is not a disease itself but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may also include changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Literally, "dementia" means to "remove or reduce the mind."

EXERCISE: The Dementia umbrella

HANDOUT: Symptoms of dementia (click for a printable PDF)
HANDOUT: Irreversible dementia (click for a printable PDF)

DISCUSSION: What are the plaques and tangles ?

* Here are some great illustrations that you can use. Use as handouts, power point, overheads. Since I did not use AV equipment and it gets expensive to make multiple color copies, I usually draw a neuron on a board. It was usually very effective. I draw in the plaques and tangles in different colors. You can show the changes in the neuron on the board. But do your homework. Read up on it as much as you can. The more you can put in in simplest terms and easy to understand language the better.

With permission from American Health Assistance Foundation Medical illustrations:

Anatomy of the Brain http://www.ahaf.org/alzdis/about/AnatomyBrain.htm

Normal vs. Alzheimer's Neurons http://www.ahaf.org/alzdis/about/AmyloidPlaques.htm

Brain Cross-Sections http://www.ahaf.org/alzdis/about/BrainAlzheimer.htm

In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German neuropathologist, noticed changes in the brain tissue of a 55 year old woman named Auguste D. who had died of an unusual mental illness. Auguste D. had spent the last years of her life in a mental institution. She was prone to violent outbursts and fits of paranoia. Upon examination of her brain he found abnormal clumps (now called senile or neurotic plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary tangles). Today, these plaques and tangles in the brain are considered hallmarks of AD.


EXERCISE: Brain Drawing


EXERCISE: Sensory Overload

DISCUSSION EXERCISE : Discuss what having Alzheimer's disease may be like ....Write down words on the chart. * Remember in the beginning of class when you asked them words they thought of when they heard Alzheimer's disease ? refer back to that list.

HANDOUT/DISCUSSION: Alzheimer's disease Bill of Rights.

DISCUSSION : What is Person Centered care ?

Discuss the Bill of Rights and how they relate to Person centered care.
* What do YOU(the trainer) feel it is ?

Click here for some definitions:

  1. Quality of life truly results from a commitment to person centered care where individuals experience autonomy, the dignity of choice, the dignity of risk and respect in their daily lives. Life is made more enjoyable by experiencing those personal daily pleasures, things that are important to each of us, things that we look forward to throughout the day, every day, in homelike surroundings. Empowered to assert their rights and preferences, to expect dignity in their care and relationships with health care professionals, individuals are encouraged to chose their daily care and services from staff who place supreme value on listening to the resident's preferences while offering professional advice and education on the risks and Benefits of resident choices.
  2. Person-centered care is a model of care in which the client is treated with unconditional positive regard and non-judgmental respect. The patient is involved, both mentally and emotionally, in his/her own care and recovery process. He/she is offered choices concerning medical interventions, activities, physical setting, and details of care and therapy. The patient is considered to be the best judge of whether or not his/her needs are being met.

Exercise/Closer: List 7

Homework assignment: To think about the Bill of Rights and how you can uphold them and how you can give more person centered/focused/oriented care.

click here for
version of
Workshop 1


©2003 Karen Stobbe and "In The Moment". Material may be freely distributed with proper accreditation.