Dementia Webinar Package
In partnership with the Iowa Chapter Alzheimer’s Association

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021  at   1–2 p.m. CT
Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior

Susan Callison, BS, Volunteer, Iowa Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, Des Moines

The Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior program offered by the Alzheimer's Association was designed to provide practical information and resources to help dementia caregivers decipher behaviors and determine how best to respond. The program offers a four-step process to follow and provides details that may be applied to any behavior.

The goal of this session is for participants to thoroughly understand this process and to leave the program feeling comfortable with using the four-step model to intervene with behaviors they may encounter in their caregiving. The program teaches participants the four steps, and then applies the steps to five of the most common behaviors encountered by caregivers. 

  • Identify common triggers for behaviors associated with dementia.
  • Explain the process for assessing and identifying challenging behaviors.
  • List strategies to address some common dementia-related behaviors.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 1–2 p.m. CT
Dementia Communication Skills for ‘Behavior’ Prevention and Antipsychotic Reduction
Erin Bonitto, MS, ADC, Founder & Lead Coach, Gemini Consulting, Inc., Cold Spring, MN

“It’s all about the approach!” we proclaim when discussing dementia care.  But what exactly is this thing called ‘the approach’?  How do we actually define it, break it down into observable skills, and coach those skills for our co-workers? Participants will hear from Erin Bonitto, a nationally known dementia communication coach. Erin will highlight dementia communication skills known to prevent or reduce the intensity of behavioral symptoms.

Participants can expect take-home ideas, along with real-world examples of how these approaches have been linked to reductions in antipsychotic use.  This webinar meets the DIA LTC training requirement 58.54(6)a.(4) communication with CCDI residents and DIA AL training requirement 69.30(2)c skills for communicating with persons with dementia. © 2021. Gemini Consulting, Inc.

  • List several basic skills for dementia communication known to reduce frustration and agitation for the person with dementia, thereby reducing the frequency and intensity of challenging behavioral symptoms.
  • Describe a flexible ‘four-step’ dementia approach that can be adapted for a variety of caregiving situations.
  • Discuss how dementia communication skills – used preventively – have been linked to a reduction in antipsychotic use.

Who Should Attend: Administrators, nurses, social workers, activities, unit managers, caregivers, and staff educators. This session is appropriate for nursing home, assisted living, home and community-based services, and adult day providers.

Faculty: Erin Bonitto, MS, ADC, Founder & Lead Coach, Gemini Consulting, Inc., Cold Spring, MN: A presenter at nearly 500 aging services and dementia care conferences, Erin Bonitto is a sought-after speaker, educator, and dementia communication coach. Erin has had a rich career in health care beginning in high school, as a dietary aide. Inspired to life-long service, she later earned a BA in psychology, an MS in gerontology, and an activity director certification. In 1998, Erin founded Gemini Consulting. She is renowned as the innovator of Life Enrichment Systems for Dementia, a dementia education, programming, and skill coaching framework. As lead coach for the system, Erin provides hands-on dementia communication coaching at partner communities across the nation – including CCRCs, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and memory care providers. Erin’s innovative partner communities learn how to provide persons with dementia the gifts of pleasure, purpose, and peace – while making measurable impacts on clinical and operational goals related to psychotropic use and behavioral outcomes, fall rates, team member morale, and family satisfaction. This skill-based system – with coaching modules for all disciplines – has been described by many communities as their ‘missing link’ to culture transformation. These award-winning dementia projects have been grant-funded in many states and explored even by international providers. When Erin is not providing hands-on coaching, she can be found as a popular featured speaker at aging services conferences where Erin provides keynote sessions, day-long workshops, and breakouts for entire disciplinary teams. Erin has been described as a speaker who “can bring tears to your eyes and make you laugh out loud – all within seconds,” all while delivering real-world, nuts and bolts tools that participants can use immediately. Care providers across the country have lauded Erin’s down-to-earth style and real-world wisdom.

Susan Callison, BS, Volunteer, Iowa Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, Des Moines: Susan Callison is a dementia family caregiver and community volunteer and has more than 15 years’ professional experience providing education and support to persons with dementia, caregivers, family, and friends. Susan is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BS in family and consumer science and has worked in senior care services as a program specialist, community relations coordinator, and director of resident life supporting caregiving programing in dementia care. She has a passion for helping people live more fulfilling lives wherever they are on their life journey, especially those affected with Alzheimer’s disease.

Registration Information & Fees: Two dementia webinars are included in one fee. Fees are per connection at a facility. Registration instructions and handout materials will be sent to the contact person listed on the registration 1-2 days prior to the program.

Registration fee includes electronic handout, one connection to each of the live webinars, and instructions for receiving CE credit/attendance certificate. A recording of these webinars is NOT included in the registration fee

LeadingAge Nebraska Members: $50
Non-members: $120


The Nebraska Culture Change Coalition is seeking Participants for Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP)* Grant Opportunity
Project Title: Creating a Culture of Person-Directed Dementia Care

Project Purpose: Throughout the pandemic, it has become clear that individuals who are aging, living with frailty and dementia are most susceptible to the impacts of social isolation. The project will help each community create quality improvement projects focused on person-directed dementia care through education and ongoing coaching efforts that engage diverse stakeholders. The Nebraska Culture Change Coalition (NECCC) is offering a one-year dementia care improvement project to three (3) communities (Medicare/Medicaid certified) in Nebraska.  

Goals: To promote person directed dementia care practices that:

  1. Reframe perceptions of and approaches to provide quality of life for residents living with dementia.
  2. Provide practical strategies and techniques that strengthen well-being every day for the whole care partner team.
  3. Transform the lives of residents living with dementia and those who support them daily.

Who: Limited to 3 Medicare and/or Medicaid certified communities in Nebraska who provide a home (long-stay) for persons living with dementia. 

What: Each team chooses 8 employees (from clinical and non-clinical roles who will champion change efforts) to participate in the learning and coaching. Each of the 8 employees receives FREE lifetime access to all three online courses through the Eden Alternative eVOLVE Online Learning. (Website: https://www.edenalt-evolve.org/) They will receive downloadable workbooks with ideas and topics to deepen their learning and share with others. The three courses are co-created by Dr. Al Power and The Eden Alternative and include:

  • The Well-Being Approach: Creating a Life Worth Living with Dementia
  • Decoding Distress: Proactive Strategies for Living Well with Dementia
  • Reframing Hallucinations and Delusions

When: Applications are due by September 10, 2021; scan and email completed application to Kelly Sparr, ksparr2011@gmail.com

If you have questions or need further information, contact: Kelly Sparr, NECCC Team Leader, ksparr2011@gmail.com

*CMP funds provided through the State of Nebraska in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)


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Denise Boudreau-Scott is President of Drive, which helps aging service organizations measure and improve their culture, resulting in a better resident and staff experience, and bottom-line. A former nursing home and assisted living administrator, Denise is a serial volunteer. She co-founded the New Jersey Alliance for Culture Change, chairs NAB’s Member Relations Committee, is a former member of NAB’s LNHA Exam Writing Committee, and a former board member of the Pioneer Network. Denise received her Bachelor of Science in Gerontology from the University of Scranton and her Master in Health Administration from Cornell University where she is currently appointed as a lecturer and student mentor. She is proud to share that she started off her career as a dietary aide and nursing assistant.