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About professional training

The Alzheimer's Association is committed to helping professionals improve their knowledge and skills, build stronger teams and deliver better care to people with dementia and their families. Our training and education programs are geared to professionals working in both community-based and residential care settings.  Our programs and meetings have been attended by activity professionals, administrators, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers and staff trainers.  Programs can be arranged to fit your needs and be provided as in-services in your facility or care setting.  Additional programs are available.  Call 800-272-3900 or email for information about topics, fees and scheduling.

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Training programs

Activity Based Alzheimer’s Care: Building a Therapeutic Environment – 6 hours

The Alzheimer’s Association has developed this training program with some of the nation’s leading activity experts in dementia care to support care settings and caregiving staff in building therapeutic programs. Content and objectives are based on information and input from national focus groups, pilot programs, Association chapter representatives and other national organization. This program is specifically for activity professionals. Scheduled yearly.

What Participants Will Learn

  • The fundamental components of Activity Based Alzheimer Care
  • To effectively examine assessment and care planning
  • To identify program design options and methods for implementation
  • To adapt activities and the environment to better meet individual needs
  • To evaluate new and current programs in a variety of ways
  • To identify and implement the various aspects of teamwork

Target Audience

Activity professionals who have a basic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and whose primary job responsibilities include activity programming design and implementation.

Continuing Education

This program is pre-approved for 7 clock hours of continuing education through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP) and for .6 CEU’s through the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

Best Care Practices for CNA's

The Best Care Practices for CNA's training program was developed with the assistance from various staff members of long-term care facilities. Content and objectives are based on information and input from staff members and Association chapter representatives. This program is specifically for professionals providing hands on care. (1.5-2 hour training)

What Participants Will Learn

  • Communication techniques for all stages of dementia
  • Techniques for assistance in Activies of Daily Living
  • Behavior challenges and methods of handling

Target Audience

Professional caregivers who have a basic understanding of the disease and whose primary job is hands on care for individuals with dementia.

Foundations of Dementia Care

The Foundations of Dementia Care training program is based on the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for Assisted Living Residences and Nursing Homes.  This hands-on classroom training allows staff to practice new approaches to dementia care through discussions, role-playing exercises and sharing of expertise.  Foundations of Dementia Care is a primary training program for orienting staff to dementia care.  CEU’s are available for each module.

Target Audience: Supervisory Personnel – designed for those from front line staff through administration. 3 hours

  • Learning to Lead –  Improve team-building skills, motivate staff, and reinforce care practices.

Target Audience: Direct Care Workers 2-3 hours per module

  • About Dementia - Overview of dementia, communication and behavioral approaches Enhancing Mealtimes - Increase food and fluid consumption
  • Pain Management -Recognize and prevent pain
  • Making Connections - Improve interaction with residents
  • Resident Wandering - Prevent unsafe wandering and promote safe independent mobility
  • Resident Falls – Reducing risk of falls and fall related injuries
  • Physical Restraint-Free Care – Encourage physical restraint-free care

Healthcare Professional Training

The Alzheimer’s Association provides training programs designed for healthcare professionals from any setting including assisted living, home health, hospitals, medical offices, and nursing homes.  Topics include an Overview of Dementia, Enhancing Communication, Understanding Behavior, Activities for Persons With Dementia, and Problem Solving in Dementia Care.


EssentiALZ Certification

The Alzheimer's Association essentiALZ certification program is a convenient way for individuals to be recognized for learning quality dementia care practices.  The essentiALZ program combines select HealthCare Interactive®CARES® online dementia care training with Alzheimer's Association online certification exams.  The essentiALz program was developed to recognize the knowledge of any caregiver who fulfills the certification requirements, regardless of whether they are paid or unpaid for their care of people with dementia.  Find more information about the web-based training program and certification below. 

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Web-based training programs

CARES: A Dementia Caregiving Approach

This affordable, Web-based program has six one-hour training modules that are geared primarily to direct care workers, particularly nursing assistants. Each module uses text and streaming video to illustrate how to best care for people with dementia living in residential care settings. Topics include:

  • Clara Jones and her Care Team
  • Introduction to Dementia
  • Understanding Behavior as Communication
  • Making a Connection with the Resident
  • Eating Well
  • Recognizing Pain

For a description of the modules, pricing plans and a free demo, go to

Dementia Care Training for Team Leaders

This program provides guidance for those who supervise others involved in the care of people with dementia: nurses, unit coordinators, administrators, activity directors or others in leadership positions. After this training you will be able to:

  • Identify and implement methods to facilitate teamwork.
  • Select and use improved communication and supervisory practices.
  • Identify techniques and deliver meaningful feedback to members of your team.
  • Recognize and create an environment that motivates staff.

This course costs $25 per person and volume discounts are available. For a free demo and to register, go to: The Dementia Care Training for Team Leaders site.

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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.