New Tool for Dementia Care Training

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has released a new program—avail- able through its Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA) division— that aims to transform the standard of dementia care. “AFA Partners in Care: Supporting Individuals Living with Dementia” is a six- hour comprehensive training video that underscores the importance of relationship-building in dementia care. The training video emphasizes person-centered care,

involving interdisciplinary collaboration among care providers, placing individuals with dementia and their families at the center of decision-making processes to ensure care plans reflect their needs and preferences. Such thinking is critical to promoting wellness and health and improving the delivery of dementia care across the board. The video features a variety of health-care profession- als, including renowned industry experts. In addition,

critical perspectives and insights are provided by individuals living with dementia, their families and other care providers, including direct care workers. Participants who complete the training can take an exam to demon-

strate their proficiency in the subject matter and become an AFA-Certified Dementia Care Partner. This certification, renewable each year, will require that individuals earn continuing education credits in dementia care-related core competencies. For more information, visit

in the January/February Issue of Senior Living Executive

SPECIAL ISSUE: The Science of Aging

People are living longer, turning the entire science of aging on its head. We’ll look at what the senior living industry can learn

from the latest scientific research in geron- tology, genetics, brain research, nutrition, and other fields related to aging.

New programming

American attitudes about aging

Healthy dining trends and brain foods

Innovations in Alzheimer’s care and treatment

Legislative/regulatory policies


Time to “Re-Wire Aging”

While a new survey from Brookdale indicates that social technology is linked to better well-being for seniors 80-plus, it also reveals their frustra- tion and need for assistance in becoming part of the digital world. The survey conducted for Brookdale by Kelton Research in collabo- ration with the Stanford Center on Longevity found that 58 percent of seniors believe technology can improve communication with family and friends. Respondents who indicated they interact with loved ones through social technology report higher life satisfaction and health, and being more likely to attain life goals than those who do not use social technology. However, few people 80 and above surveyed are actually experienc- ing these benefits. Only one third use a personal computer at least once a month and fewer than one in five uses text messaging. Twenty-seven percent can be considered “virtual shut-ins” who do not use any techno- logical devices, apps, or programs. A major reason? Perceived difficulty; nearly half of respondents said it takes too long to understand and keep pace with new technology. Those seniors identified as “virtual shut-ins” reported lower overall

life satisfaction, poorer physical health, and greater loneliness than the survey group as a whole. “Loneliness in this age group is associated with shorter life spans, chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, depres- sion, and even dementia. Helping those in their 80s and above connect through technology is an opportunity to enhance their well-being even further,” says Brookdale Chief Medical Officer Kevin O’Neil M.D.

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