ATrain Education


Continuing Education for Health Professionals

Dementia Care: Common Sense Guidelines

The course is based on the book entitled Kisses for Elizabeth: A Common Sense Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia (2012), by Stephanie Zeman, RN, MSN. All the case studies are real, although patient names have been changed to protect their privacy. The book contains 35 additional cases based on Zeman’s experience in working with Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients for more than twenty years. It is available through and, where it has five-star reviews.

Stephanie Zeman, RN, MSN

  • Contact hours:
  • Pharmacotherapy hours: 0
  • Expiration date: May 1, 2020
  • 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.

ATrain Education, Inc. is an approved provider by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The following course information applies to occupational therapy professionals:

  • Target Audience: Occupational Therapists, OTAs
  • Instructional Level: Introductory
  • Content Focus: Content Focus: Category 1—Domain of OT, Client Factors

Criteria for Successful Completion

80% or higher on the post test, a completed evaluation form, and payment where required. No partial credit will be awarded.

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

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.

Accreditation Information

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

  • Explain the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 and how it has led to better care for patients in residential care settings.
  • Discuss the importance of putting yourself in the place of the person with dementia to figure out what she needs.
  • Name three new dementia communication skills you have learned.
  • Give four reasons for avoiding arguments with your dementia patient.
  • Explain the importance of validation and how to use it.
  • Say what it means to “consider the whole person.”
  • Define “feel-goods” and explain how to use them to change the mood of the person with dementia.
  • Explain why reality orientation is not appropriate for residents in mid- and late-stage dementia.
  • List four ways to encourage independence in your patient.
  • Suggest three ways to determine appropriate activities during care.
  • Explain the importance of love and other positive emotions for the person who has dementia.
  • 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.
  • State four examples of judgmental behavior and how to move past them.
  • Explain the wise use of humor in your work.
  • Discuss the benefits of religion for dementia patients who practiced it when they were well.
  • State what it means to expect the unexpected.

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