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CCOG for GRN 234 Fall 2023

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Course Number:
GRN 234
Course Title:
Introduction to Dementia Care & Practice
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Focuses on issues related to the care of older persons presenting behavioral and cognitive challenges using a person-centered approach. Introduces assessment, treatment and care of persons experiencing dementia, problematic mental health conditions, and the dying process. Includes assessing appropriate long term care options for memory care, problem solving, functional levels and other challenges, responding to deficiencies, creating repetitive incident reports, implementing fall prevention programs, and developing family education and support programs. Recommended: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course is required for the Advanced Behavioral & Cognitive Care Certificate and the Therapeutic Horticulture Activity Specialist Certificate. It is a Program Elective for the Gerontology AAS Degree.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Distinguish normal aging and cognitive processes from cognitive decline and dementing disease, and recognize the impact of problematic mental health issues, the physiology of dying, and other processes on well-being, within a person-centered, culturally sensitive approach to care.
  • Work effectively with other professionals on assessment and treatment and care for older persons presenting behavioral and cognitive challenges requiring complex care management.
  • Balance responsibilities to patients, families, and one’s personal well-being within family-care and community-based care settings.
  • Use analysis and problem-solving skills in a variety of scenarios presenting complex advanced behavioral and cognitive care issues.
  • Apply best practices for dealing with challenging cognitive and behavioral issues, following care plans, providing appropriate documentation and working collaboratively with all stakeholders, including multidisciplinary teams, medical and healthcare professionals, family, and community members.
  • Apply professional and ethical care standards to the care of persons with dementia, severe memory impairment, and other behavioral and cognitive challenges.

Course Activities and Design

Course is organized around learning modules that include required reading, lecture, demonstration, resources, discussion, case studies, written assignments and other assessments, and where appropriate, team projects.
Course can be offered in-class, online, or in other distributed learning formats.  Uses a case study approach to advanced behavioral and cognitive care issues.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Completion of research-supported papers, assignments and group projects meeting defined standards.
  2. Participate in care planning for hypothetical "care clients," identifying potential behavior and agitation triggers, and concisely describing the care client's family dynamic as it applies to the care client's care and well-being.
  3. Participate in "on-the-spot" crisis management scenarios as an individual and as a member of a care team communicating clearly and kindly while interacting with agitated care clients, emotionally-fraught family and friends, and medical and healthcare professionals.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to compromise in working to devise win-win solutions for an individual's care, showing understanding and empathy for the key players when responding to a care client, their spouse or partner, and their adult children.
  5. Participate in, and contribute to, all class and team discussions and activities.
  6. Write all scheduled case reports and care plans.
  7. Short concept and essay examinations may also be used.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Successful and healthy aging distinguished from cognitive decline and disease processes, in multicultural and intergenerational perspective
  2. Behavioral, cognitive, and mental health issues
  3. The assessment process, assessment resources, and the role of observation
  4. Person-centered care on a community-wide, individual, and daily basis
  5. Best practices in personal and memory care
  6. Care team approaches
  7. Family dynamics and issues
  8. End of Life (EOL) Care, including the dying process and EOL symptom management
  9. Stress and boundary management
  10. Dynamics of dementia care
  11. Emotions behind combative behaviors
  12. Subtle signs and symptoms\
  13. Physical, emotional, and psychological concerns
  14. Collaborative stakeholder communication
  15. Use of humor to calm crises
  16. Diffusion of agitation
  17. Redirection of aggressive behaviors
  18. Professional and ethical care standards