Communicating About What to Expect as Dementia Progresses

Last Reviewed: August 1, 2018

What You’ll Learn

  1. Describe the importance of communicating with patients and families as early as possible about what to expect as their illness progresses, and describe a framework for starting these conversations
  2. Understand how to talk to patients and families about the physiological changes to the brain that cause various symptoms of dementia, and discuss expected changes in early-, middle-, and late-stage disease
  3. Describe non-pharmacological interventions that can support the patient and caregiver, and set the stage for financial, legal, safety, and advance care planning in regular follow-up visits

This course was created with generous support from the nonprofit Gary and Mary West Health Institute.

What You’ll Earn

CAPC members can earn the following free continuing education credits:

Case Management: 1.00 CE
Licensed Professional Counselors: 1.00 CE
Medicine: 0.75 CME, 0.75 ABIM MOC
Nursing: 1.10 CNE
Social Work: 1.00 CE (NASW)
Social Work: 1.00 CE (NYSED)

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Tools & Resources

MEMBERS ONLY locked

Communicating About What to Expect as Dementia Progresses: Key Takeaways

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Key takeaways and list of available community resources for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

MEMBERS ONLY locked

Stages of Dementia: Helping Patients and Caregivers Understand What to Expect

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

A framework for helping patients and caregivers understand the stages of dementia based on symptoms and behaviors. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2018.

Dementia Care Resources for Caregivers

Last Updated: March 21, 2019

Print or email this handout of caregiver resources for education and support.

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MEMBERS ONLY locked

Course References: Communicating About What to Expect as Dementia Progresses

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Course citations. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2018.

Cindy Barton, MSN, GNP, BC. Nurse Practitioner, UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

Andrew E. Esch, MD, MBA. Consultant Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Stefanie Bonigut, LCSW. Family Services Manager. Alzheimer's Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Jim Palmer, MSW, LCSW. Palliative Care Social Worker. Mount Sinai Hospital.

Marta Kazandijan, MA, CCC-SLP, BSC-S. Director, Division Speech Pathology and Swallowing. New York Presbyterian Queens and Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Gina Decker. Caregiver.

Constance Dahlin, MSN, ANP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN, FAAN. Consultant, Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Melissa Bakar, MD. Integrated Fellow in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. Mount Sinai Hospital.

Karl B. Bezak, MD. Board Certified Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow.

Nora Brennan, RN. Cardiology. University of Pennsylvania Hospital System.

Gail Gongaware, RN, BSN, CCM, MS. Education manager, Education and Training, VNSNY.

Kristin Chouinard, RN, CHPN. Gerontology. North Shore Elder Services, Partners Healthcare.

Philip Higgins, PhD, LICSW. President Lighthouse Counseling of Salem, Inc.

Contact information: For technical questions about online activity or continuing education credits, contact membership@capc.org or 212-201-2674.

Provided by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The Courses

Discussing Your Patient’s Dementia Diagnosis

Disclosing a dementia diagnosis to patients and caregivers in a way that is sensitive, clear, and s…

Planning for the Future with People Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers

Enabling patients and caregivers to plan ahead for the financial, legal, and other impacts of demen…

Available to non-members

Supporting the Caregivers of People Living with Dementia

Assessing for caregiver burden and connecting caregivers to needed support systems.

View all courses in the unit