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IHSS Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia

Learn how to care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia

Format: Real-time learning led by instructors

Length: 6 courses / 6 weeks / 18 hours / 3 hours per course

Languages offered: English, Spanish, Armenian, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Vietnamese

Eligibility: Must be IHSS provider in California (see UCI program link below for unpaid/informal caregivers)

Offered through Career Pathways Program:


Offered as a multi-week program in Los Angeles County and San Bernardino:


UCI Program: Informal/unpaid family caregivers may be eligible through our partnership with UCI Health:


Here’s what you will learn:

Course 1: Roles and Responsibilities of the Caregiver

In this course, you will learn the roles and responsibilities of caregivers. In addition, you will be introduced to five enhanced roles of the caregiver on the care team – monitor, coach, communicator, navigator, and care aide; as well as four key skills while support role enhancement – observe, monitor, document, and report. Methods of identifying health plan information and appropriate documentation and reporting of consumer behavior changes will also be discussed.

Course 2: Terminology and Stats

In this course, participants will learn to recognize (though not diagnose) symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which differ from the signs of normal aging. They will learn what symptoms and stages they may expect to find as they care for consumers with these conditions, and they will discuss how to apply the skills of observing, monitoring, documenting, and reporting in these scenarios.

Course 3: Common Behaviors and Sundowning

In this course, you will learn about common behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The focus will be on challenging behaviors and repetitive behaviors, such as repetitive questioning, and practicing techniques for helping consumers when they occur. You will also learn about techniques for assisting consumers with agitation and anxiety, as well as providing appropriate care. Delirium, what it is and how caregivers should respond, will also be reviewed. Finally, participants will discuss sundowning, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Course 4: Sleep Changes and Hallucinations, Home Safety, Wandering

In this course, you will learn principles of good sleep hygiene and how to encourage better sleep. You will learn about hallucinations, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and how to recognize the signs to help identify when the consumer is experiencing hallucinations and provide appropriate care. Caregivers are at high risk of workplace musculoskeletal injuries because of the ongoing physical support you give to the consumer, so you will learn and practice good body mechanics to avoid injury. Consumers with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are at increased risk of falls, so fall prevention strategies will be introduced. In addition, strategies for preventing wandering, a common symptom of dementia, will be discussed.

Course 5: Assisting with Personal Hygiene

In this course, participants will review how to assist consumers with maintaining personal hygiene, such as oral and denture care, bathing, dressing, and using the toilet. They will explore special considerations for assisting a consumer with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with these tasks and learn how to effectively address situations in which consumers refuse to engage in a personal hygiene activity.

Course 6: Nutrition and Physical Activity

In this course, you will learn the basics of nutrition, healthy and modified diets, as well as the importance of physical activity in a consumer’s daily routine. Caregivers will learn about assistive devices that can help a consumer to eat. They will also be introduced to chronic conditions linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

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