You are now viewing our public site. Back to Dashboard

Dementia and the Capacity for Learning

Improve your knowledge, care and treatment outcomes when working with people with dementia.

Subscribe Now Already a subscriber? Sign in to start.

About this Certificate Program

In this certificate program, learn best practices to improve communication, manage behavior, and improve the quality of life of the individual with dementia and their support system. Carrie Ciro addresses how to manage the difficult behavior that can be associated with Dementia through creating meaningful routines and leveraging behavioral management techniques and environmental modifications. The series also teaches clinicians how to:

  • Use both cognitive training and task-oriented training to improve function in daily life skills.
  • Manage physical performance including gait changes, pain and mobility, and fall risk.
  • Assess and design treatment plans to improve ADLs common with individuals with Dementia.
  • Apply a framework for training people with dementia how to use assistive technology within a task-orientated program.

Target Audience

This certification is open to all health care professionals, but has been targeted to address the needs of OTs, OTAs, PTs, and PTAs.

Goals & Objectives

  • Understand and implement interventions for managing behavior with people living with dementia.
  • Describe and implement task-oriented training using a motor learning framework to develop meaningful treatment plans.
  • Successfully evaluate ADLs, with a focus on meaningful goals, as a motivator for therapy and an enhancer of recovery.
  • Identify and implement interventions to manage the four areas that physical performance in people with dementia.
  • Identify appropriate low and high tech assistive technology options that can be incorporated into task-oriented training.

What's Included in the Certificate Program

Accredited Online Courses*

10 hours of online video lectures and patient demonstrations.

Interactive Learning Assessments

Case-based quizzes to evaluate and improve clinical reasoning.

Case Study Interviews

Recorded Q&A sessions between instructors and practice managers.

Section 1: Learning and Behavior with Dementia

2 Chapters

Dementia and Capacity for Learning in Rehabilitation Scienceskeyboard_arrow_down

  • What Is and What Is Not DementiaChapter 1

    In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Carrie Ciro defines dementia and introduces differential diagnoses for the participant to consider when diagnosing dementia. She demonstrates the use of the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), the most widespread scale used to screen for and classify severity of dementia.

  • Types of Dementia and Medical ManagementChapter 2

    In this chapter, the participant will learn to differentiate common types of dementia by trajectory of disease and imaging that can help delineate type. Dr. Ciro also reviews the different medications used in the treatment of dementia.

  • Neuroplasticity in Dementia: Is It Possible?Chapter 3

    Dr. Ciro defines neuroplasticity and discusses how neuroplasticity is facilitated in non-dementia populations. The participant will consider examples of emerging evidence for neuroplasticity in dementia.

  • Training to Cognitive Strengths of People with DementiaChapter 4

    This chapter contrasts the differences between skills needed for new learning (declarative memory) and retraining previously performed tasks (procedural memory). Dr. Ciro compares and contrasts methods and evidence for task-oriented training and cognitive training (computer games, crossword puzzles). The participant will also learn appropriate timing for intervention for rehabilitation.

  • View full course details »

Dementia: Therapist's Guide to Behavioral Managementkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Overview of BehaviorChapter 1

    In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Carrie Ciro identifies how environmental press may underlie negative and positive behavior in people with dementia. She discusses how rehabilitation therapists can address triggers to negative behaviors in people with dementia.

  • Matching the Sensory Environment to Sensory Processing StyleChapter 2

    Dr. Ciro describes the application of the Sensory Processing Theory to people with dementia. Participants will learn to differentiate the four categories of sensory processing and apply them to specific behaviors in dementia.

  • Maximizing Performance in Meaningful ActivityChapter 3

    In this chapter, Dr. Ciro describes the relationship between negative behavior and loss of ability to perform meaningful activities. Participants will consider how to gather goals for meaningful activities and review features of rehab training that are successful in improving performance in meaningful activity.

  • Tailored Activity ProgramsChapter 4

    Participants will learn the concept of Tailored Activity Programs and the outcomes of using them with people with dementia. Dr. Ciro guides the participant in the development of a Tailored Activity Program for a case example informed by Sensory Processing Theory.

  • Snoezelen EnvironmentsChapter 5

    In this chapter, Dr. Ciro defines the concept of a Snoezelen room in a facility or home-based environment. Participants will study the evidence for reducing negative behavior or increasing positive behavior. Dr Ciro provides best practice guidelines for a case example informed by Sensory Processing Theory.

  • Alternative Therapies to Decrease AgitationChapter 6

    Dr. Ciro defines alternative therapies to reduce agitation or negative behavior, such as aromatherapy, music therapy and massage. Participants will compare and contrast the evidence for each therapy. Participants will consider best practice guidelines for a case informed by Sensory Processing Theory.

  • Environmental Modification to Decrease AgitationChapter 7

    This chapter highlights simple and system-based environmental modifications that may decrease negative behaviors and increase positive moods. Dr. Ciro provides best practice guidelines for use of these modifications informed by Sensory Processing Theory where applicable.

  • View full course details »

Section 2: Function, Activities, and Performance

3 Chapters

Dementia: Improving Activities of Livingkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Common ADL Errors Per Severity of DementiaChapter 1

    In the first chapter of this course, participants will learn to identify the importance and strength of using procedural memory to enhance ADLs. Dr. Carrie Ciro describes clinical patterns that fit a model describing how loved ones may unknowingly advance ADL/IADL disability. She outlines the errors typically seen in ADLs/IADLs for each level of severity.

  • Assessment of ADLs/IADLsChapter 2

    Participants will learn to describe the differences and review the pros and cons for observation-based vs. self- or proxy-reported ADL/IADL assessments. She highlights observational assessments that provide the best information for treatment planning.

  • Meaningful ActivityChapter 3

    Dr. Carrie Ciro explains the importance of choosing meaningful ADL/IADL goals for improving participation and learning capacity in therapy. Participants will be introduced to the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure as an assessment to identify relevant goals.

  • Task-Oriented TrainingChapter 4

    This chapter discusses the importance of task-oriented training, tools and environments. Participants will learn how to develop a sequence of “practice-able” steps to deliver task-oriented training that may include assistive technology.

  • Motor Learning Applications to ADL TrainingChapter 5

    After learning about and reviewing evidence for errorless learning, participants will learn to differentiate between blocked and random practice, schedule for praise, and dosage for success in people with dementia.

  • Putting it All TogetherChapter 6

    This chapter synthesizes and sequences concepts of meaningful activity, task-oriented training, and motor learning in the treatment of ADL/IADL disability.

  • Caregiver TrainingChapter 7

    This segment of the course will highlight dementia caregiver perspectives on rehabilitation training, and introduce simple strategies to enhance success with translating your therapeutic interventions over to a different provider or caregiver.

  • View full course details »

Dementia: Improving Physical Performance and Functional Mobilitykeyboard_arrow_down

  • Making Mobility Activities MeaningfulChapter 1

    Chapter one will introduce the importance and need for meaningful exercise and mobility activities for patients with dementia. Participants will learn how to deliver the Physical Performance Test in order to examine movement during activities. Dr. Carrie Ciro discusses how to make exercise meaningful for dementia patients based on individual necessity and personal goals.

  • Gait Changes in Dementia and Best TreatmentChapter 2

    This chapter will address gait changes associated with aging, as well as the additional impact of known gait changes that stem from dementia. With this information, participants will be able to develop a treatment plan using evidence-based interventions in order to improve the lifestyle of those affected by dementia.

  • Assessment of Pain to Improve MobilityChapter 3

    In order to improve mobility, a thorough assessment of pain must be conducted before treatment. This chapter provides participants with the knowledge to apply guidelines for examining dementia-related pain in order to determine the best interventions to improve mobility. Emphasis is placed on utilizing a pain scale for dementia patients that have trouble with verbal communication, as well as on classifying the differences in pain perception and response between people afflicted with and without dementia.

  • Fall Risk and PreventionChapter 4

    This chapter will explore how dementia affects brain systems and impacts mobility skills, a consequence that contributes to, and increases the risk of falls. Participants will be able to understand variables that contribute to fall risk, and have the opportunity to investigate evidence-based programs that are designed to improve gait and reduce fall risk.

  • View full course details »

Dementia: Using Assistive Technology to Improve Functional Performancekeyboard_arrow_down

  • Devices for People that have Low VisionChapter 1

    In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Carrie Ciro introduces assistive technology and its application to older adults. She demonstrates how to recognize low vision diagnoses and impact on function. Participants will review select examples of low and high-tech devices that can be incorporated into treatment sessions.

  • Assistive Technology for ADL PerformanceChapter 2

    Dr. Carrie Ciro classifies low and high-tech assistive technology that can support activities of daily living for people with dementia. Participants will learn to differentiate appropriate equipment recommendations based on patient strengths and impairments.

  • Assistive Technology to Enhance MemoryChapter 3

    This chapter describes the differences between stationary aids and mobile memory aids, as well as the pros and cons for each. Participants will learn to identify appropriate adaptations for priority goals such as scheduling and finding lost items.

  • Training StrategiesChapter 4

    The final chapter of this course names barriers to using assistive technology and provides suggestions for overcoming barriers to assistive technology. Participants will learn to employ training strategies for teaching people with dementia how to incorporate assistive technology into daily activities.

  • View full course details »
Carrie Ciro


CEU Approved

10 total hours* of accredited coursework.
MedBridge accredits each course individually so you can earn CEUs as you progress.

      Our clinic could not be happier with MedBridge.

Amy Lee, MPT, OCS
Physical Therapy Central

       MedBridge has allowed us to create a culture of learning that we were previously unable to attain with traditional coursework.

Zach Steele, PT, DPT, OCS
Outpatient Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services

    MedBridge has created a cost-effective and quality platform that is the future of online education.

Grant R. Koster, PT, ATC, FACHE
Vice President of Clinical Operations, Athletico Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get CEU credit?
Each course is individually accredited. Please check each course for your state and discipline. You can receive CEU credit after each course is completed.

When do I get my certificate?
You will receive accredited certificates of completion for each course as you complete them. Once you have completed the entire Certificate Program you will receive your certificate for the program.

*Accreditation Hours
Each course is individually accredited and exact hours will vary by state and discipline. Check each course for specific accreditation for your license.

Do I have to complete the courses in order?
It is not required that you complete the courses in order. Each Certificate Program's content is built to be completed sequentially but it is not forced to be completed this way.

How long do I have access to the Certificate Program?
You will have access to this Certificate Program for as long as you are a subscriber. Your initial subscription will last for one year from the date you purchase.

Sample Certificate

Sample Certificate

Complete this series to receive your certificate.

Subscribe Now

Certificate Program
Earn an official certificate of completion from MedBridge.
  • Show the world your achievement
  • Share your course record with peers and employers
  • Show patient and clients your commitment to education

Sign up to get free evidence-based articles, exclusive discounts, and insights from industry-leaders.

Request a Demo

For groups of 5 or more, request a demo to learn about our solution and pricing for your organization. For other questions or support, visit our contact page.

Contact Sales

Fill out the form below to learn about our solution and pricing for your organization. For other questions or support, visit our contact page.

Contact Sales

Fill out the form below to learn about our solution and pricing for your organization. For other questions or support, visit our contact page.

The Future of Digital MSK Care is Here

MedBridge Pathways, our new digital care platform, is purpose built to bring provider-first, therapy-driven MSK care to patients across the care continuum.

Learn More