Dental Assistant: Alzheimer's Disease: Challenges, Interventions, and Approaches to Care

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About Course #L0976

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Expiration Date: January 22, 2022

The growth of the older adult population is expected to rise dramatically with the aging of the baby boomer generation, the first members having turned 70 in 2016. Because age is a significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), the incidence of this devastating disease is also expected to rise in the United States. This course focuses on the key components of assessment and interventions specific to patients experiencing dementia. The knowledge gained from completion of the course provides healthcare providers with the information and tools to recognize the complexity of issues surrounding a progressive diagnosis of AD.

AGD Subject Code: 750

Course Objectives

  • Discuss nursing best practices for communicating with older adult patients, including patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
  • Describe how to provide patient-centered care, including the use of touch therapy and humor therapy, to patients who have AD.
  • Discuss nutritional concerns in patients with AD.
  • Discuss incontinence in patients with AD.
  • Discuss falls, fall prevention, and restraint use in patients with AD.
  • Explain the assessment and management of pain in patients with AD and the reasons for hospitalization.
  • Discuss the concepts of spirituality and formulate the special palliative care and end-of-life needs of people with AD.
  • Recognize common principles and models for understanding, preventing, and responding to the challenging behaviors of patients with AD.
  • Recognize common nonpharmacologic interventions for managing the behavior of patients with AD.
  • Identify the pharmacologic principles that guide the care of older adults with AD.

Western Schools designates this activity for 8 continuing education credits.

About the Author(s)

Jacqueline Close, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA, received a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Corpus Christi State University, a master of science degree in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in nursing from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation research examined the documentation of a systematic assessment for delirium in hospitalized older adult patients who had been medicated with selected antipsychotic medications.

Dr. Close serves on the board and is very active in the National Gerontological Nursing Association and, in 2010, served as a member of the American Nurses Association Gerontological Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice Revision work group. She is a member of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Sigma Theta Tau International, Zeta Mu At-Large Chapter, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Jacqueline Close has disclosed that she has no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to this course book.

About the Case Studies Author: 

Dr. Teryn Sedillo DDS, FABSCD is a Creighton University School of Dentistry graduate. She completed additional training at St. Barnabas Hospital-Albert Einstein Affiliate in NYC in hospital dentistry with an emphasis in Special Care.  As a resident, she was awarded the most compassionate dentist distinction.  In addition to her mobile and consulting service company, Dignity Dental Services, she is also full-time faculty at Creighton University School of Dentistry where she developed the curriculum and clinical rotations in Special Care and Geriatrics. She sits on committees with the Special Care Dental Association and American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and has received her Fellowship distinction in Spec

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