How can one of the most widespread mental health conditions be one of the least covered during trainings of similar neural conditions?
Dr. Jennifer Stelter and her business partner Jessica Ryan explain how providing engaging training about dementia can increase employee retention and give caregivers essential skills when helping those with this all-too-common condition.
As a clinical psychologist with over twelve years of experience in the senior living space, Dr. Jennifer Stelter has a lot of experience with dementia.
Dr. Jennifer is critical of the idea that pharmacological methods are the only way to address mental health conditions and she strives to provide knowledge of non-pharmacological tools and coping skills that can be used firstly.
Together with her business partner Jessica Ryan, biologist, and aromatherapy educator, she created the dementia connection model which employs these types of tools for addressing dementia onset.
Dr. Jennifer states that while dementia training should be part of any clinical psychology studies, it is instead left all down to nursing homes.
Since most dementia training is just regulatory compliance, it will often be carried out without much real thought or planning and will not be effective.
When there is a lack of education in this area staff will not know how to empathize and interact with residents with dementia which leaves them more inclined to become overwhelmed and quit.
In order for a dementia training to be effective, it must be engaging and ideally use sensory based exercises to put employees and caregivers in the position of those with dementia.
Exercises that push people to think on their feet are also very important because this is an essential skill when caring for people with dementia.
In a post pandemic world, these trainings should be up to date, after all there is evidence that COVID-19 can be a factor of dementia onset.
Dr. Jennifer and Jessica will be opening their Dementia Connection Institute which provides in-person and virtual CE seminars and presentations, and staff trainings in all the tools and strategies of their model to staff and caregivers.
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