Understanding Dementia and the Role of the Healthcare Professional

Understanding Dementia and the Role of the Healthcare Professional

Release Date: September 1, 2019
Expiration Date: May 30, 2020
Format: Online Enduring Activity

Target Audience

This activity is intended for Interdisciplinary healthcare professionals, RN, LVN, LNFA, SW, LPC, and Home Health Caregivers in 3 types of care settings: facility-based staff, home health caregivers, and primary care physician office staff.

Statement of Need

Dementia can be caused by nearly forty different diseases and conditions. Currently, there are four clinical dementia syndromes accounting for 90% of all cases of progressive cognitive impairment. The four common diseases have different clinical characteristics and diagnostic criteria for each of them.

Less than 50% of people with Alzheimer’s reported being told of their diagnosis. Patients and their proxies have the right to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Studies have shown that when patients and caregivers understand their diagnosis and are active participants in the decision-making process, the quality of care they receive is better than the care received by uninformed patients.

The value of the services family caregivers provide for “free”, when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined. Supporting caregivers by continually educating them on non-pharmacologic interventions and local resources will lessen their burden and assist them in caring for their loved ones. 

This program is the first in a three-part series that will address deficiencies in healthcare professional knowledge/competence related to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and the role of the Healthcare Professional. This first video focuses on differentiating hallmark clinical signs of dementia and the best diagnostic and assessment criteria. This video also addresses the role of healthcare team members beyond a basic diagnosis.

Learning Outcome:
This activity will give the nurse a more in-depth understanding of the four most common types of dementia; disclosing of a diagnosis; changes/progression of disease; agreed treatment and disease management; professional care options and educating, engaging and helping families/caregivers with the day to day struggles they face while caring for loved ones.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity learners should be able to:

  • Identify the hallmark characteristics of the main types of dementia; Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy-Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, and Mixed Dementia;
  • Review the newest diagnostic guidelines for dementia;
  • Explore the practical use of assessment scales in the domains of cognition, function, behavior, quality of life and depression in dementia;
  • Examine person-centered communication skills with patients and clients when delivering “bad news” and working with cultural differences; and
  • Locate reliable sources of information to further professional education in dementia and to refer patients and clients for support in dementia care.

Accreditation Statements


UNT Health Science Center is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association - Approver, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This CNE activity has been jointly provided by UNT Health Science Center collaboratively with James L. West Alzheimer's Center.

This activity provides up to 1.00 contact hour.

Social Work

This activity is approved for a maximum of 1.00 Clock Hours for Social Workers.

Licensed Professional Counselor (Texas LPC CEU)

University of North Texas Health Science Center is an approved provider, number 2022, by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. This activity is approved for 1.00 CEU credit/1.00 clock hours.

Faculty and Disclosures

Jaime Cobb, CSA has nothing to disclose.
Susan Farris has nothing to disclose.
Doni Green has nothing to disclose.
Barb Harty, NP has nothing to disclose.
Janice Knebl, DO, MBA has nothing to disclose.
Jennifer Miller, LBSW, MS, BA has nothing to disclose.

The UNT Health Science Center Office of Professional and Continuing nor any of the planning team have anything to disclose.

Reporting of Perceived Bias
Bias is defined by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC COA) as the preferential influence that causes a distortion of opinion or of fact.  Commerical bias may occur when a CNE activity promotes one or more product(s), drugs, devices, services, software, hardware, etc).  This definition is not all inclusive and participants may use their own interpretation in deciding if a presentation is biased.

The ANCC COA is interested in the opinions and perceptions of participants at approved CNE activities, especially in the presence of actual or perceived bias in continuing education.  Therefore, ANCC invites participants to access their "ANCC Accreditation Feedback Line" to report any noted bias or conflict of interest in the educational activity.  The toll-free number is 1 (866) 262-9730.

Nursing Approval Statement

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

"Understanding Dementia and the Role of the Healthcare Professional"

Requirements for Successful Completion:
To receive a certificate of completion, participants are required to attend the entire activity.  To receive credit for your participation you must complete the required posttest and evaluation which follows the activity.

Once successful completion has been verified, a "Certificate of Successful Completion" will be awarded for 1 contact hour.

The objectives of this activity are found above.


All information contained within this activity is intended for educational purposes only. Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained in this site. No single reference or service can take the place of medical training, education, and experience. This website does not define a standard of care, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. This information should not substitute for a visit or consultation with a health care provider.

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge. For all activities featuring audio, you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Select the Continue button below to begin. You may return later if you are unable to complete the activity at this time.


WE-HAIL LogoThis project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP287350100. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  No commercial support was received for this activity.