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Certification Program
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Do you provide care for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's?

Get trained. Get certified. It's essentiALZ®

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About essentiALZ Certification Topics Recertification Recognition Opportunities Approved Training Courses

About essentiALZ

Alzheimer’s Association® essentiALZ® is an online individual certification program that provides recognition for knowledge of quality dementia care practices.

The essentiALZ exam tests knowledge of evidence-based dementia care practices that are promoted in the nationally recognized Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations and supported by more than 30 leading health and senior care organizations.

About essentiALZ Plus

EssentiALZ Plus requires more in-depth knowledge of Alzheimer’s care techniques and specialties. Individuals must be certified in essentiALZ prior to taking any of the essentiALZ Plus exams.

Certification Topics

The Alzheimer’s Association essentiALZ certification program combines approved dementia care training with Alzheimer’s Association online certification exams. EssentiALZ offers two levels of certification— essentiALZ and essentiALZ Plus.

Specialty: Dementia Basics

Topics Covered in this exam:

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Understanding Behavior
  • Communication
  • Person-centered Care

  • Recertification
    If your certification has expired, you will need to retake the training and certification exam.

Approved Training

CARES® Dementia Basics™

Test Drive   Purchase



Specialty:  Dementia Advanced Care

Topics Covered in this exam:

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Understanding Behavior
  • Communication
  • Person-centered Care
  • Making a Connection
  • Eating Well
  • Recognizing Pain
  • Minimizing Falls
  • Rethinking Wandering
  • Minimizing Restraints

  • Recertification
    If your certification has expired, you will need to retake the training and certification exam.

Approved Training

CARES® Dementia
Advanced Care™

Test Drive   Purchase



Specialty: Dementia-Related Behavior

Topics Covered in this exam:

  • Introduction to dementia-related behaviors
  • Using the CARES® approach to dementia-related behaviors
  • Breaking down the CARES® approach
  • Key responses to dementia-related behavior

Approved Training

CARES® Dementia-Related Behavior™

Test Drive   Purchase

Specialty: Activities of Daily Living

Topics Covered in this exam:

  • Basics of Activities of Daily Living
  • Stages of Activities of Daily Living
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Pain
  • Wandering
  • Transferring

CARES® Activities of Daily Living


Approved Training

CARES® Activities of Daily Living

Test Drive   Purchase


Individuals 16 years and older* can qualify to take essentiALZ certification exams upon successful completion of select CARES® online dementia care training courses.

*unless other age requirement are mandated by state laws, rules or regulations.


EssentiALZ certification is good for two years. Your certification expiration date is printed on your certificate. For more information on how to do this and to purchase the training and certification, go here.

If it has been two years since you last earned your certification, it is time to become recertified. There is a dedicated recertification course that has been designed so the length of time required to take each module is shorter, reducing the amount of time away from your work.

  • CARES® Dementia Basics Recertification Online Training Program – 4 modules, 40 minutes
  • CARES® Dementia Advanced Care Recertification Online Training Program – 6 modules, 60 minutes

If you originally completed the training at the request of your employer and are still employed by the same employer, please ask your administrator for the renewal license product code.

If you purchased the training program, please visit to buy the new recertification course.

Once you receive a completion code from training, follow the instructions to return to the Alzheimer’s Association e-learning platform to take the essentiALZ recertification exam using the same log-in ID and password as you originally used.

Recognition Opportunities

Because you care, learn and be recognized.

Be prepared. Learn basic, specialized, and advanced techniques as well as evidence-based practices to help you provide care to people with dementia.

Feel confident. As an essentiALZ-certified care provider you can be confident that you are equipped with knowledge and techniques from leaders in the dementia care field.

Earn recognition. Upon successful completion of an approved dementia care course and an essentiALZ certification exam, you will receive your essentiALZ certification.


Individual Recognition Tips

  • Print and display your certificate
  • Add essentiALZ certification to your resume
  • Wear your pin (coming soon!)

Company Recognition Tips


Approved Training Courses


  • CARES online training, developed collaboratively by the Alzheimer’s Association and HealthCare Interactive®, is a person-centered, easy-to-remember approach to caring for an individual with dementia at any stage of the disease.
  • The CARES training modules use a wide variety of interactive techniques, featuring demonstrations by real CNAs and staff members working with actual people living with dementia.
  • CARES® Dementia Basics & Advanced Care™ is one of three trainings recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for long term care facilities to meet new nursing aide training requirements put forth as part of Section 6121 of the Affordable Care Act.
  • CEUs are available for CARES Dementia Basics & Advanced Care online training.
  • ”Test drive” CARES online training for free at

For convenience, purchase and completion of the CARES online training provides immediate access to the appropriate essentiALZ exam at no additional cost. Prices start at $24.95/per person and site licenses are available.

Link to pricing grid.

For more information, email


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.