5-Week Online Course in Dementia Care and Webinars Afterwards

Several local support group members sent me a link to an article from yesterday’s “New Old Age” blog in the New York Times.  (I faithfully read this blog as well.)  The article is about an online course in dementia care being offered at no charge.

The course starts on October 14, 2013, runs for 5 weeks, and is anticipated to take 3-5 hours per week of time.  Though the course is designed for healthcare professionals, anyone interested in dementia care may enroll.  “Some background or knowledge about caring for someone with dementia is helpful,” the co-instructors say in an introductory video.  Based on the title, it looks like the focus will be on Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here’s info about the course:


Care of Elders with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Major Neurocognitive Disorders
Instructors:  Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN and Laura Gitlin, PhD, both with Johns Hopkins University

This is a state-of-the-art course designed to accommodate the learning needs of health professionals including nurses, social workers, psychologists, occupational and speech therapists, health care administrators and recreational therapists. It is also intended for students who are interested in learning more about dementia care. The 5 units provide an overview of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and the impact on quality-of-life issues for individuals with dementia and their families. Emphasis will be placed on exploring innovations in care through an ecological model of dementia-care  throughout the trajectory of the disorder

Workload: 3-5 hours/week

Begins:  Oct 14th 2013 (5 weeks long)

At the link above, you can watch a 3-minute video introducing the course.

The “New Old Age” blog post has some helpful details.  See:


The New Old Age: Caring and Coping
Online Lessons in Dementia Management
The New York Times
By Judith Graham
September 5, 2013, 6:00 am

According to the “New Old Age” blog post, each class will be broken into 15-20 minute segments.  During the week of October 21st, Dr. Peter Rabins, author of “The 36-Hour Day,” will talk about assessing caregivers’ needs.  During the week of November 6th, Dr. Gitlin will review non-pharmacologic interventions to treat troublesome behavioral symptoms.  “After the course, Johns Hopkins will offer a series of Web-based seminars to caregivers and health professionals following up in more detail on the issues raised. Potential topics include safety in the home, activities for people with dementia and end-of-life care.”

Both the course and the follow-on webinars sound very worthwhile.  I don’t know if those actively caregiving can fit 3-5 hours per week into their lives, however.  If anyone participates, please share highlights or things you learned so I can share with everyone in our group.