Course offered to help people better care for dementia patients

Published on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 14:36 - Written by FAITH HARPER,

A new daylong course is offered to help caregivers with the tools to compassionately care for patients with dementia.

The course is the first dementia care certificate offered at Tyler Junior College, and is possible through a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County, according to a news release.

The seven-hour course is offered on Wednesday, Oct. 11, and on Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Regional Training and Development Center in Tyler.

Two course times will be offered on each day, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 2:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Cost is $163, and scholarships are available on an as-needed basis through the Alzheimer’s Alliance.

“Our goal for this class is to train professional and familial caregivers, so that people living with dementia receive excellent quality of care,” Stephanie Taylor, Alzheimer’s Alliance executive director, said in the news release. “We want to create a learning environment that fosters commitment to caregiving and creates increased quality of life for families impacted by dementia.”

Dementia is not a specific disease, rather an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities, according to the Alliance.

This course is designed to give caregivers insight into the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, learn ways of communicating effectively and compassionately with a person who has dementia, introduce meaningful engagements into the day and create activities in the moment. It also will teach how deal with challenging behavior and how to use a person’s "life story" to build happiness, reduce challenging behaviors and foster cooperation.

To register, visit

Scholarship applications can be obtained by contacting the alliance office at 903.509-8323 or by emailing If applying for scholarship, please do not complete the online application.

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