Intervention Strategies for Dementia in Persons with Serious Mental Illness and Other Disorders

These sessions will address dementia and mental illness as it occurs among persons who use CMH services. Symptoms and the course of several types of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Frontotemporal dementia) will be described, as well as its cooccurrence with mental illness. Misdiagnosis of dementia, the effects of brain changes in dementia on cognition, behavior, and functioning, and finally implications for intervention will be discussed. Non-pharmacological intervention strategies that address symptoms of dementia and similar symptoms in mental illness, individualized to the person, disorder, and situation will be explored.

Training Objectives:

  1. Review effects of brain changes in dementia on cognition, functioning, and behaviors
  2. Review interventions effective with three types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
  3. Describe communication strategies presented in seminar
  4. Describe environmental interventions presented in seminar
  5. Identify visuospatial interventions presented in seminar
  6. Identify four factors to address with interventions

Developed by Shelly Weaverdyck, PhD, MA and Certificate in Gerontology from University of Michigan

Author Biography:

Shelly has specialized in geriatric cognition and dementia since 1973. As consultant for a variety of academic, longterm care, and mental health settings internationally, nationally and locally in Michigan and Northwest Ohio, she advises administration and staff regarding cognitive impairment intervention and program planning and conducts staff training and environmental evaluations. She was formerly the Director of the Alzheimer’s Education and Research Program at Eastern Michigan University and the Dementia Specialist at the University of Michigan Turner Geriatric Clinic.

Bibliography: 1. Linden, D.J. (2015) Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind. New York: Viking Penguin 2. Pliszka, S. (2016) Neuroscience for the Mental Health Clinician. Second Edition. New York: Guildford Press 3. Whalley, LJ. (2015) Understanding Brain Aging and Dementia: A Life Course Approach. New York: Columbia University Press 4. Mace, N., Coons, D., Weaverdyck, S. (2005) Teaching Dementia Care. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. 5. Weaverdyck, S. (1990), Neuropsychological Assessment as a Basis for Intervention in Dementia. In N. Mace (Ed.) Dementia Care: Patient, Family and Community. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Additional Resources in Beyond Behaviors

The goal of IMP is to provide the most up to date, evidence-based information for your continued learning. As part of that, IMP can provide additional resources like a full IMP Encyclopedia and multiple supplementary videos on the various topics covered in the courses.

By clicking the Resources menu, you will find information under the Advisory Groups, Encyclopedia, and Supplementary Videos menu items.

Beyond Behaviors specific resources can be found below. 

Session 1 of Curriculum - The Brain and Cognition

Handout #2

Handout #3

Pre-Session Form

Post-Session Form

Educator's Evaluation Form

Session 2 of Curriculum - Cognitive Abilities

Pre-Session Form

Post-Session Form

Educator's Evaluation Form

Session 3 of Curriculum - Environment

Pre-Session Form

Post-Session Form

Educator's Evaluation Form

Session 4 of Curriculum - Communication

Pre-Session Form

Post-Session Form

Educator's Evaluation Form

Session 5 of Curriculum - Task and Daily Routines

Pre-Session Form

Post-Session Form

Educator's Evaluation Form