Virtual Dementia Tour

Once a person has taken all of the EssentiALZ certification exams. Passed successfully they are eligible to take the CARES Dementia Specialist credentialing exam. Right at Home of York, Hanover, Pennsylvania conducts the Virtual Dementia Tour® training for its Caregivers and the Community throughout the year. The Virtual Dementia Specialist Credential Tour® (VDT®) helps those caring for someone with Dementia to identify with and understand his/her behavior. What Does the Tour Consist Of? The Virtual Dementia Tour® is a scientifically proven method designed to build sensitivity and awareness in individuals and professionals caring for those with Dementia. Created for anyone seeking to understand the physical and mental challenges that accompany Dementia, the Virtual Dementia Tour® not only benefits residential staff and homecare workers, it is a valuable experience for family caregivers, spouses and loved ones. This unique, interactive program has been proven to improve communication and care. Interested in the Virtual Dementia Tour? The VDT training is facilitated by Kristin Smith, Director of Operations of Right at Home. Smith graduated with a degree in Psychology. She started her career as a nursing assistant, and developed a passion to work with people living with Alzheimer’s. Smith served as the Director of the Alzheimer’s Unit in the Providence Place of Dover before joining Right at Home. She also provides training to facilitate a support group for the Alzheimer’s Association. All Right at Home of Southern Pennsylvania’s caregivers receive training prior to working with patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. We believe that the VDT is a valuable tool for family caregivers as well. We offer this tour to caregivers, local facilities and elderly communities in an effort to promote compassion, empathy and understanding in people who work closely with Dementia.

In 2017, California adopted Senate Bill 89 (SB 89), which created new training requirements for county child welfare workers, juvenile court judges, resource families, foster parents, group home administrators, and Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program administrators. To meet the requirements, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) contracted with the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) and developed a training entitled, “Sexual and Reproductive Wellness for Youth in Foster Care.” As required by SB 89, the training addresses topics such as the sexual and reproductive rights of youth and young adults in foster care, duties and responsibilities of the case management worker, how to document sensitive health information in the case plan, contraception methods, and how to engage with youth and young adults. The Sexual and Reproductive Wellness for Youth in Foster Care training is available in two formats: a one-day, in person classroom training, and an online E-Learning course. The classroom training is available to county social workers, probation officers, and public health nurses and may be scheduled through the four Regional Training Academies.

Contact community centers, libraries, churches or synagogues in your area. Some offer support groups. Ask others you know for suggestions. Most support groups are free, collect voluntary donations or charge only modest membership dues to cover expenses. Choosing a group that’s right for you depends on several factors. The key is finding one that matches your needs – and personality. You may find that you prefer a structured, moderated group. Or you may feel more at ease meeting less formally with a small group of people. The anonymity of going online may be appealing, but the trade-off may be that you don’t know who else is online with you or whether you can believe everything you read. If you decide to take part in a group (real or virtual), try it out a few times. If you don’t find it useful or comfortable, you don’t have to continue. Trust your gut feeling. If you’re nervous or hesitant about sharing personal issues with a group of people you don’t know, consider attending one meeting. You don’t have to talk, and you may gain from just listening. You may have to experiment with different kinds of support groups before you find one that meets your needs. But keep at it. You may learn new things. Form new friendships. And you just might find that a support group helps you cope more effectively with the demands of dementia caregiving in your everyday life.

Thank you for publishing information that can help us with managing our loved one’s irrational behavior. Our daughter (34) is disabled, uses a walker and wheelchair, limited vocabulary, and I’m convinced is now suffering from dementia. We have rotated through several medication trials. Some of those helpful, while others were dangerously sedating. She wasn’t sleeping at night and began hitting us with items, as we were sleeping. She too hallucinates and talks to others a loud and very loudly at times, shouting, knocks on the walls frequently during the night, asking for help, or ordering us to turn it “off”. She also complains of the noise being too loud. Only the house is quiet. The noise is in her mind. We are working with a medication specialist. We’ve tried a weighted blanket at night but we are back to square one. We are weaning off Haldol since it is causing sleepy ness during the day, and her mobility is compromised.

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