Discussing Your Patient’s Dementia Diagnosis

Last Reviewed: August 1, 2018

What You’ll Learn

  1. Understand both the responsibility of providers to discuss dementia diagnoses with patients and their families and the importance of the discussion
  2. Describe a framework for discussing a dementia diagnosis, including assessing patient understanding, using appropriate language, and responding to emotional cues throughout the discussion
  3. Understand the importance of assuring ongoing support of the patient and family and scheduling regular follow-ups for continuing conversations about their diagnosis

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: 0.90 CNE
Social Work: 1.00 CE (NASW)
Social Work: 1.00 CE (NYSED)

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Tools & Resources


Discussing Your Patient's Dementia Diagnosis Key Takeaways

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Stepwise approach for discussing a dementia diagnosis with patients and caregivers. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2018.


Tips for Communicating with People Living with Dementia

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Guidelines for clinicians and caregivers. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2018.


Course References: Discussing Your Patient's Dementia Diagnosis

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.

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

Timothy Adams, RN. Palliative Care. Tanner Medical Center.

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

Communicating About What to Expect as Dementia Progresses

Helping patients and caregivers understand challenges they may face as dementia worsens.

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