Skip to main content

SU, USMx: Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Care

Provides an overview of Alzheimer’s disease, including pathophysiology, risk factors, stages, symptoms, diagnosis, including medications used to enhance cognitive function. Reviews modified communication strategies that optimize interactions and reduce behavioral expressions. Explores the topic of dementia caregiving, its challenges and resources available, as well as special care considerations when the person with dementia is hospitalized.

5 weeks
2–3 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

Are you a current or future caregiver, or, a nurse or other healthcare professional who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease? Here are the key content areas that will be addressed over 5 modules:

  • Over 5 million Americans and an estimated 24 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Given the exponential aging of the population, these numbers are expected to increase dramatically over the next few decades;
  • Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults and has both genetic and environmental factors in its development;
  • AD is characterized by a variety of cognitive symptoms, including short-term memory loss, problems with problem-solving, judgment and recognition. There are also changes in mood and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, hallucinations and paranoia. Behavioral expressions, include irritability, agitation, resistance to care, and wandering. In the later stages, the person is dependent in all activities of daily living and requires total care;
  • There is no known cause, effective treatment or cure, but there are currently two classes of medications approved to enhance cognitive function, as well as, lifestyle-based preventive strategies thought to possibly reduce risk;
  • There are evidence-based therapeutic approaches and communication strategies to enhance interactions and optimally, prevent behavioral expressions;
  • The key principles of care for the hospitalized person with Alzheimer’s disease are examined, including the importance of therapeutic communication strategies to prevent behavioral expressions and other complications such as delirium and falls;
  • Lastly, the essential role of the dementia caregiver is discussed, including potential consequences, stresses and gratifications, as well as the resources available.

At a glance

  • Institutions:


  • Subject: Medicine
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Caregiving, Alzheimer's Disease, Communication Strategies, Problem Solving, Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs), Dementia Care, Hallucinations, Pathophysiology, Dementia

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • What Alzheimer’s disease is, its pathophysiology, risk factors and how it is diagnosed
  • Key cognitive, behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Two classes of medications used to enhance cognitive function in persons with Alzheimer’s disease
  • How validation therapy and other evidence-based therapeutic communication principles optimize interactions and care outcomes
  • Key principles when caring for the hospitalized person with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease
  • A better understanding of the role of the dementia caregiver, stresses and available resources, as well as the overall experience of caring for the person with dementia

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX For Business.