Dementia: Common Sense GuidelinesPage 2 of 20

Dementia Care: Common Sense Guidelines

photo of elderly woman sitting near a window


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Author: Stephanie Zeman, RN, MSN

Contact hours: 3.5
AOTA CEUs: 0.35
Expiration date: May 1, 2024
Course price: $29

Course Summary

This pragmatic course is based on twenty years’ experience with patients who have Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Zeman’s common sense guidelines for working with dementia patients reflect the foundational belief that we must keep in mind the person who existed before the onset of dementia and put ourselves in their place in order to understand what they need from us today.

Target Audience

Nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants*.

AOTA Approved Provider Logo 2023ATrain Education is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Approved provider #6558. This distance learning-independent is offered at 0.35 CEUs, introductory, Foundational Knowledge. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Criteria for Successful Completion

Study the course material, achieve a score of 80% or higher on the post test (the post test can be repeated if a learner scores less than 80%), complete the course evaluation, and pay where required. No partial credit will be awarded.


To find specific accreditations or approvals, click here.

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support Disclosure

The planners and authors of this learning activity have declared no conflicts of interest, vested interest, or financial relationship that may influence the content of this activity. All information is provided fairly and without bias.

ATrain Education, Inc. received no outside financial or commercial support in the preparation, presentation or implementation of this learning activity and has no affiliation with any company whose products or services are mentioned in this activity.

Course Objectives

When you finish this course you will be able to*:

  1. Explain the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 and how it has led to better care for patients in residential care settings.
  2. Discuss the importance of putting yourself in the place of the person with dementia to figure out what she needs.
  3. Name 3 new dementia communication skills you have learned.
  4. Give 4 reasons for avoiding arguments with your dementia patient.
  5. Explain the importance of validation and how to use it.
  6. Say what it means to “consider the whole person.
  7. Define “feel-goods” and explain how to use them to change the mood of the person with dementia.
  8. Explain why reality orientation is not appropriate for residents in mid- and late-stage dementia.
  9. List 4 ways to encourage independence in your patient.
  10. Suggest 3 ways to determine appropriate activities during care.
  11. Explain the importance of love and other positive emotions for the person who has dementia.
  12. Discuss how important it is for people with dementia to feel they have something important to do and suggest five activities designed to satisfy their need.
  13. State 4 examples of judgmental behavior and how to move past them.
  14. Explain the wise use of humor in your work.
  15. Discuss the benefits of religion for dementia patients who practiced it when they were well.
  16. State what it means to expect the unexpected.

*Please note: attainment of course objectives will be assessed in the course evaluation.