Caregiver Q&A, 2nd Tuesday each month @ 7pm ET. Ask your caregiving questions! Learn more
A Roadmap for Drivers Facing Dementia

Not all older adults have to give up driving. But all drivers with dementia eventually need to reduce or stop driving. It’s challenging to know who, how and when to make decisions to keep everyone safe. Adding to the confusion are unclear expectations about the roles and responsibilities of older adults themselves, family caregivers, physicians, police, DMV personnel, and others. This workshop will help you navigate this tricky terrain.

Join us to
1. Describe the impact of dementia on driving ability
2. Examine issues that make decisions so challenging for drivers facing dementia
3. Identify tools, resources, and strategies to discuss driving and make decisions to keep everyone safe

Advance Directives: Legal Tools for Discussion & Decision-Making

Talking about end of life can be uncomfortable. However, those who do it report enormous relief. Those who complete advance care planning also help ensure that end-of-life wishes will be followed & give a real gift to the family and healthcare providers who will be asked to carry out those wishes. Invest an hour of your time to get this done!

Join us to
1. Describe who has the legal right to formulate advance directives & the 3 landmark cases that led to the laws
2. Define advance directives as tools to communicate future medical wishes
3. Discuss conversation starters & resources to create advance directives

Building Cognitive Reserve Through Brain Fitness

Exciting scientific evidence demonstrates that some people have extra brain capacity called cognitive reserve, making it possible for them to compensate when brain damage or disease occurs. Learn what you can do to build your cognitive reserve and boost brain functioning in yourself, your family, and your clients. There is hope!

Join us to
1. Describe the principles behind cognitive reserve and brain fitness
2. Explain how cognitive reserve and brain fitness can protect against Alzheimer’s symptoms
3. List dozens of no-cost brain fitness strategies, which can be incorporated into daily life to build cognitive reserve

Caregiver Pointers to Get You Through the Holidays

As fun as it is to get ready for the holidays, it can also be incredibly stressful for family caregivers. Take a few minutes ahead of the holiday season to think with a gerontologist, Donna Fedus, founder of Borrow My Glasses about the best ways to include older relatives, and particularly people with dementia, in holiday celebrations while protecting yourself emotionally and physically during a busy time of year.

Join us to
Identify ways to keep the increased hustle and bustle holiday energy from overwhelming those with dementia
2. Discuss how you can uphold traditions and create new, more appropriate ways to celebrate
3. Describe new formulas that helps you keep the holiday festive

Caregiver Promises You Can Keep

“My mother only wants me to help, no outsiders.” “My husband doesn’t want me to go to my support group, even though I look forward to it and learn so much.” “I promised my father a long time ago I would never put him in a home.” If you ever made a promise about caring for your parent or partner that you feel at risk of breaking, join us! It may be time to renegotiate your caregiving deal or at least set new boundaries and explore options. We will identify caregiver resources that can help and describe caregiving promises you can keep.

Join us to
Surface examples of care partner promises
2. Identify a process to work through caregiver issues and options
3. Describe caregiving promises you can keep

Caregiver Q&A

When you need a knowledgeable guide to help navigate caregiving issues, borrow the glasses of Gerontologist Educator, Donna B. Fedus and other guest experts. You’ll have a chance to post your caregiving questions and we’ll answer as many as possible on our free Zoom call. Look for the next date at the top of the page or click here to register.

Compassionate Communication with Older Adults

Compassionate communication combines what we say, how we say it, and what we communicate on both verbal and non-verbal levels. Join us to learn communication techniques that can add empathy and compassion to your interactions with older adults.

Join us to
1. Examine ways to communicate empathy
2. Utilize communication strategies for older adults with vision & hearing impairments
3. Demonstrate ways to communicate compassion on multiple levels

Cultivating Resilience as a Family Caregiver

Family caregivers of older adults are some of the most resilient people out there! The coronavirus pandemic has certainly brought up different challenges for family caregivers, but facing stress, adjusting to a new normal, and coping with adversity comes with the territory. Learning more about resilience can help you carry on as a caregiver.

Join us to
1. Identify traits shared by resilient caregivers
2. Discuss ways to build resilience in yourself
3. Describe how communities can contribute to resilience

Customer Service Strategies for Older Adults

The experience of older adults who interact with your brand can be greatly enhanced if your employees demonstrate basic empathy and communication techniques. Yet few employees have training on specific ways to understand and interact with older customers. This 90-minute interactive workshop was designed by a gerontologist as a train-the-trainer for call center staff. It can be used as is or tailored for various lines of business and departments with the option to add customized 30-minute scenario modules.

Join us to
1. Generating empathy for older adults
2. What does the aging trend have to do with me?
3. Improving communication if you detect hearing impairment
4. Responding if you suspect dementia
5. Managing your emotions

Driving & Aging: Decisions From the Driver’s Seat

Many older adults and their family members find discussions about driving very hard.  Recognizing who is driving the conversation and in charge of driving decisions can help everyone navigate the road ahead. This workshop is for those who want to remain in the driver’s seat and in control of their own decision making, as well as family members seeking practical conversation starters, decision-making strategies, and resources to help an older adult reduce or stop driving.

Join us to
1. Describe issues that can interfere with safe driving
2. Identify tools, strategies, and resources to reduce driving risk
3. Examine the role of outside experts to help make and/or implement decisions about driving

Elder Bullying: What’s Behind It & What Can You Do

This program will examine the issues behind peer-to-peer elder bullying and ways to intervene where older adults gather, such as senior housing communities and senior centers. Deeper awareness is needed given the significant negative impact on targets, bullies themselves, witnesses, and organizational culture.

Join us to
1. Define and describe elder bullying
2. Examine the impact of elder bullying
3. Generate strategies to address elder bullying where older adults gather

The Emotional Journey Through Dementia Caregiving

This program charts new territory in describing the emotions experienced by dementia caregivers, and ways caregiver emotions impact how they provide care and accept services and strategies. As dementia incidence and prevalence rise, professionals with greater clarity about the emotional landscape will be better prepared to support dementia caregivers.

Join us to
1. Discuss why it’s important to gain clarity about the emotional experience of dementia caregivers
2. Map the emotional journey through dementia caregiving
3. Describe strategies to support dementia caregivers as they experience a range of emotions

Engaging Older Adults Via Technology

This workshop describes the intersection of aging and technology, including barriers and opportunities. Specific engagement strategies will be examined to prepare clinicians and coaches for user experience issues they can anticipate while working with older adults via technology. Bigger picture opportunities to boost technology utilization among older adults will be explored.

Join us to
1. Describe the aging trend along with technology-related barriers and opportunities
2. Identify strategies to engage with older adults through technology
3. Discuss ways to boost technology utilization among older users

Ethical Dimensions of Elderly Suicide

The legal right among competent American adults to formulate advance directives didn’t end the incidence of elderly suicide. In fact, older adults have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. Worldwide prevalence of suicide among older adults is considered a global public health problem. This workshop will familiarize case managers with legal and medical tools competent adults can use to express end of life wishes. We will discuss real-life cases that illustrate the limits of those tools, which may contribute to contemplation of suicide as an option. Trends and issues in elderly suicide relevant to the practice of case management will be outlined, including physician assisted suicide protected in some states through death with dignity laws. Finally, we will share an ethical framework that case managers can apply to ethical dilemmas to support clients and families contemplating suicide.

Join us to
1. Describe legal and medical tools to express end-of-life wishes and explain their limits
2. Identify key trends and issues in elderly suicide for case managers to understand
3. Apply an ethical framework in cases of suicidal ideation or suicide

Facing Forgetfulness

Dementia is a journey rather than a destination. Learn how you can tell if you or a loved one is experiencing normal forgetfulness or a more serious problem. Donna will discuss dementia (including types of reversible dementia), explore the benefits of early diagnosis, and address common emotions and how to talk about them.

Join us to
1. Distinguish normal age-related forgetfulness from indicators of a more serious problem
2. List the most common root causes of reversible and irreversible dementia
3. Describe the diagnosis process & benefit of early diagnosis

Gerontology 101

This half-day class works as either an introduction/orientation or refresher to build awareness and understanding of older adults and the aging process. It is valuable for a wide audience. Due to population aging, each of us will experience our own aging while increasingly working and living with older adults. Using interactive activities, games, and videos we will examine a wide range of issues, including basics on the longevity trend, the impact of ageism, normal age-related changes compared to cognitive impairment, the state of the eldercare workforce, and ways to improve connections with the older adults in your personal and professional life. This course is appropriate for anyone with questions about aging, specifically for professionals in social services, behavioral health, home and health care, end-of-life care, senior living, recreation, lifelong learning, clergy, faith communities, and first responders. 

Join us to
1. Discuss the longevity trend and its implications
2. Define ageism and explore its impact
3. Distinguish between normal aging and cognitive impairment
4. Describe the state of the eldercare workforce
5. Demonstrate ways to improve connections with older adults in your life

Give Up the Guilt: Unpacking Guilt from Your Emotional Baggage

If you have family caregiving responsibilities and are a human being, you almost certainly carry some guilt in your emotional baggage. Join us to consider a different itinerary for your caregiving journey, without lugging around excessive and often exhausting guilt. Learn what you might want to pack instead of guilt to be the best caregiver you can be and enjoy more of your caregiving experience. 

Join us to
1. Identify caregiver guilt triggers
2. Examine ways to unpack guilt from your emotional baggage
3. Recognize what you need to pack for this trip

Helping Your Congregation Meet the Challenges (& Maximize the Opportunities) of Aging

Many faith leaders face issues related to the aging of their congregants. As congregants grapple with spiritual and existential issues, they may seek your help and direction as they tackle challenges ranging from caregiving, dementia, or end of life decisions. Also, a plethora of opportunities exist to engage your older congregants. This workshop is designed raise a range of issues and prepare faith leaders to engage with congregants navigate aging. 

Join us to
1. Describe an overview of our aging society and demonstrate how changing demographics will permanently impact your work
2. Discuss selected implications of the aging trend
3. Examine family caregiver dynamics to help clergy better support congregants with eldercare responsibilities
4. Identify resources and the types of services available for people who wish to age in their homes and communities but may not know where to turn
5. Discover creative opportunities to engage older congregants

Home Design Decisions that Improve Life for People with Dementia

Life can be easier or harder for people with dementia and for their caregivers based on the way space is set up inside and outside of the home. Join us for a photographic home tour sharing simple ideas to make the physical environment easier to navigate for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Join us to
1. Briefly describe the habilitation model of dementia care
2. Identify home design decisions that decrease frustration for people with Alzheimer’s and improve success in daily living
3. Apply habilitation design principles and learn strategies from others

How Is Your Business Planning for Longevity?

People are living longer than ever before, and the Baby Boom generation is on the cusp of their older years. The ramifications of the undeniable and unprecedented aging trend will impact every business, every community, and every family. Join us to learn more about the trend and consider ways to prepare your business and family to manage both the challenges and myriad opportunities.

Join us to
1. Describe the magnitude of the aging trend
2. Analyze the ramifications across a variety of industries and business functions
3. Generate opportunities based on the aging trend in product and service innovation, customer experience, and workforce support and development

If I See Something, Do I Have to Say or Do Something?

When thinking about your aging clients, residents, patients, parents, relatives, or someone you live with, you may notice changes that concern you. You may worry that some kind of crisis is coming or is here, and wonder what, if anything, you can or should do.

Join us to
1. Decipher what you’ve seen
2. Examine what it means
3. Determine what to do about it, if you have to do anything at all

Learn What Dark Chocolate, Cobblestones & Juggling Have in Common

Exciting scientific evidence demonstrates that some people have extra brain capacity called cognitive reserve, making it possible for them to compensate when brain damage or disease occurs. Learn what you can do to build your cognitive reserve and boost brain functioning in yourself, your family, and your clients. There is hope!

Join us to
1. Describe the principles behind cognitive reserve and brain fitness
2. Explain how cognitive reserve and brain fitness can protect against Alzheimer’s symptoms
3. List dozens of no-cost brain fitness strategies, which can be incorporated into daily life to build cognitive reserve

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s

Habilitation is a dementia care model created by Joanne Koenig Coste and detailed in her book Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s. The main idea is that by focusing on the skills that remain, there are many opportunities to continue to connect and enrich people’s lives throughout the disease. This concept is the basis for. This workshop, developed with permission from the author, which is appropriate for either family members or professionals.

Join us to
1. Describe the 5 tenets of Habilitation  
2. Identify strategies to promote moments of positivity, peace and connection for people living with dementia
3. Apply Habilitation theory to practice using real case scenarios

Living With Palliative Care: Joan’s Story

Palliative Care is surrounded by many misconceptions. With greater knowledge, patients and families could benefit from palliative care and healthcare professionals could use it to support patients with serious illness. Join us to learn more about palliative care, including how it differs from hospice and how it can benefit patients facing serious illness. See video clips from a documentary film and education program called Living With Palliative Care, which shows how one 85-year-old woman’s end-of-life journey was transformed by palliative care.

Join us to
1. Define palliative care and distinguish it from hospice
2. Outline a generalist level of palliative care knowledge
3. Demonstrate palliative care through an in-depth video-based case study
4. Discuss the benefits of choosing palliative care to address serious illness

Meaningful Connections Across Generations: One Model Program

Learn about a fun and successful program that decreased loneliness, strengthened intergenerational connection, and engaged a faith community during COVID. The model can be adapted to any faith community or community-based organization.

Join us to
1. Outline the project overview and proposed strategies 
2. Describe the engagement strategies and outcomes
3. Discuss lessons learned and applications to other kinds of intergenerational programs

MOLST/POLST: Medical Tools for Discussion & Decision-Making

MOLST (Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) or POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) forms may be very helpful for people with serious illness and/or their families to complete, even if they already have advance directives. Join us to learn more about when to complete a MOLST/POLST and how they can guide medical decision-making including emergency transfers to the hospital.

Join us to
1. Define MOLST/POLST 
2. Describe who can benefit from MOLST/POLST, how and when to create one
3. Compare and contrast MOLST/POLST with advance directives

More Meaningful Visits Throughout Dementia

You may not look forward to visiting or calling your person with dementia, as much as you may love them. You’re not alone! Many family caregivers struggle with planning meaningful visits, even without COVID-19 restrictions. Dementia is complex, there is no magic way to ensure a fantastic visit every time. Yet, there are many ways to improve and enrich visits throughout dementia.

Join us to
1. Examine why visits are challenging as dementia progresses 
2. Generate options for more engaging visits
3. Apply strategies to have more meaningful visits throughout dementia

Moving Older Adults from Medication Misuse to Medication Safety

Although older adults are at high risk of medication misuse, it is often unintentional, which offers prevention opportunities. Join us to better understand the context surrounding medication use and misuse in community-dwelling older adults, including how prescribers, family caregivers and older adults themselves may unwittingly contribute to serious consequences. Medication adherence and safety strategies, prevention opportunities, and resources will be examined.

Join us to
1. Identify risk and protective factors surrounding medication misuse among older adults 
2. Explain contributors to unintentional medication misuse in older adults
3. Examine medication safety and prevention opportunities

Now What

When you’re faced with helping an older adult you care about, an experienced guide can help. We go there with you. For them, or for yourself as you consider decisions about your own aging.

Now What is a practical, issue-oriented series focused on a different issue each month. Join us to borrow the glasses of gerontologist educator Donna Fedus, who’s been in the field for more than 30 years, as she guides the group to think through and respond to aging-related situations. Click here for upcoming dates.

Pin the Boundary on the Eldercare Scenario

Many of us have moments where we can set a boundary, and times when boundaries get blurry and hard to navigate. This workshop offers opportunities to think more about boundaries and reasons to uphold them. We’ll play Pin the Boundary on the Scenario to explore a wide range of examples and share ideas to help you stretch your boundary-setting comfort zone. NOTE: we developed versions of the game for senior housing resident service coordinators and property managers. We can happily customize the game for other professionals!

Join us to
1. Examine a framework to improve professional boundary setting 
2. Generate responses and demonstrate professional boundary setting
3. Discuss reasons to maintain strong professional boundaries (& why it’s so hard)

Prevention of Compassion Fatigue & Burnout

Eldercare professionals are routinely exposed to traumatic stories in the course of their work. Case intensity can be high as family caregivers often wait until they are in crisis or near burnout before they contact professionals. It is important to recognize warning signs BEFORE the burnout stage to avoid the serious physical and mental health issues that often accompany burnout.

Join us to
1. Define the three elements of compassion fatigue
2. Recognize the physical and psychological warning signs of compassion fatigue
3. Explore a wide variety of strategies to address or prevent compassion fatigue and burnout

Resident Intimacy in Senior Living

The opportunity for socialization is one of the best benefits of senior living. It can also be one of the most controversial for families and staff when socialization turns to sexuality. Interest in intimacy and sexual expression doesn’t end at a particular age, with a diagnosis of dementia, or when a move is made from a private home to senior living. However, sexual behavior in senior living communities can raise multiple issues for staff, residents, and family members.

Join us to
1. Describe issues surrounding intimacy & sexual expression as people age, and for people with dementia who reside in senior living communities
2. Discuss the impact of staff attitude and family reactions to resident intimacy and sexual expression in senior living
3. Examine policy & practical approaches to resident intimacy in senior living that balance resident rights with staff duty to protect

Resilience in Times of Significant Change – for Eldercare Professionals

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is testing both individual and community resilience in extreme ways. However, on a regular basis, older adults and family caregivers face adversity such as health changes, functional loss, limited resources, and multiple kinds of transitions. This workshop will examine ways eldercare professionals can strengthen resilience in older adults and family caregivers in times of significant change, while at the same time cultivating resilience in themselves.

Join us to
1. Identify factors in personal and community resilience
2. Apply strategies to bolster resilience in older adults and family caregivers
3. Discuss personal resilience strategies for eldercare professionals

Rethinking Age Discrimination

The experience of aging is drastically different from what it was just one or two generations ago. Yet age bias persists. Age stereotypes and discrimination harm both us and older adults we interact with at work and at home. In this interactive workshop, we challenge outdated assumptions and perceptions about aging, and play a game to practice responses to common scenarios. 

Join us to
1. Describe the impact of ageism on yourself and others
2. Apply strengths-based strategies to interactions with older adults
3. Examine why it’s urgent to reduce ageism

NOTE: designed to meet the NASW-MA anti-discrimination continuing education requirement effective September 2023

Smarter Stress Management

Like healthy eating and exercise, stress management may seem smart and simple but can be surprisingly hard to accomplish. Grounded in theories of stress, coping, compassion fatigue and burnout, this meet-you-where- you-are approach will allow you to personalize a short- term actionable stress management plan.

Join us to
1. Recognize barriers to stress management
2. Examine validated assessment tools to measure compassion fatigue and burnout
3. Choose stress management techniques from a range of options to create a personalized plan

Strengthening Age-Diverse Teams

The stakes are high for businesses to understand how quickly and significantly longevity trends are changing the landscape in virtually every field. Organizations willing to consider ways to meet the changing needs of customers as well as ways to engage employees to work most productively will accrue advantages. In this workshop, we will explore ways to build strong age-diverse teams that can generate opportunities for organizations from innovation to cross training to succession planning, and more.

Join us to
1. Identify how age bias across generations limits organizational effectiveness
2. Co-design a project utilizing intergenerational strengths
3. Explain the advantages of strengthening age diverse teams in your workforce

Successful Communication Given Alzheimer’s Logic

Changes in communication patterns can frustrate both individuals with Alzheimer’s and the people around them. However, there’s often more logic than it would first appear. This workshop is set in the habilitation model of dementia care. It will help you crack the code in early to mid-stages of the illness, so you can continue to connect in meaningful and enriching ways.

Join us to
1. Decipher “Alzheimer’s logic” — there IS logic
2. Explore multiple communication strategies to connect with people in early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease
3. Discuss the impact of emotions on communication throughout Alzheimer’s

Supporting Older Adults with Dementia and PTSD

Older individuals who were exposed to significant trauma in their past are at increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) throughout their life. Symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, delusions, agitation, food rituals, and aversions to bathing or personal care can emerge anytime. These symptoms can worsen years after the initial trauma and are complicated by dementia. This program will discuss specific techniques to comfort older adults with PTSD and dementia, which can also be shared with family caregivers.

Join us to
1. Describe common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
2. Identify how present-day behavior in older adults with dementia may relate to trauma history
3. Describe specific techniques to avoid triggering or worsening PTSD symptoms and to enhance comfort in older adults with dementia

Supporting LGBTQ Individuals with Dementia

While everyone with dementia experiences vulnerability, it can be even more complex for individuals who identify as LGBTQ, especially as care needs escalate. The number of people living with dementia and the number of people who identify as LGBTQ are both growing rapidly. Aging services professionals of all levels and roles will benefit from greater cultural competence in recognizing and anticipating issues to provide more dignified care to LGBTQ individuals living with dementia.

Join us to
1. Recognize specific issues people who identify as LGBTQ can face throughout dementia
2. Utilize case studies to describe the impact of stigma
3. Discuss implications for practice and policy to reduce discrimination and promote more dignified dementia care

NOTE: meets NASW – CT’s Cultural Competence licensure requirement

Third Shift: Balancing Work, Life & Eldercare

The work/life balance is a familiar struggle. When family caregiving is added to the mix, it can feel like you’re working a third shift, and there’s never enough time to meet all the needs. Join us to think through your options systematically with a gerontologist and support from others on the same journey.

Join us to
1. Examine what needs doing and who can help inside and outside of work
2. Identify resources and practical strategies to meet the changing needs without doing everything yourself
3. Discuss ways to set respectful boundaries with your elders

Too Young? Too Old? Time to Change the Narrative

Have you ever been stereotyped because of your age? Join us to explore what ageism looks like and sounds like, and what you can do to change it. People of all ages are welcomed to this important conversation.

Join us to
1. Recognize what ageism looks and sounds like
2. Examine why ageism is such a big deal
3. Discover what you can do to change it

Understanding the Minds of People with Alzheimer’s

This is your chance to ask what goes on in the mind of someone with Alzheimer’s. Why do people with Alzheimer’s say what they say and do what they do? Why do they repeat the same things over and over? Why do they get lost while driving familiar routes? Why do they have trouble doing something one day, but can do it easily the next day? Understanding why can help determine how you can respond with less frustration, and how to create more moments of connection.

Join us to
1. Describe reasons people with Alzheimer’s act the way they do
2. Determine ways to respond with less frustration
3. Identify opportunities to create more moments of connection

What we Know About Alzheimer’s Prevention

We don’t yet know how to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. But we do know what puts you at risk for and protects you from cognitive impairment.

Join us to
1. Find out which foods to eat and avoid
2. Understand how exercise builds new neurons, and why this is important
3. Explore the role of meaningful activity in brain health

When We Work Where They Live: Connecting Across Generations

How do life experiences, societal and cultural norms, expectations, bias, dementia, and life stage impact interactions between older adults and their caregivers? Join gerontologist Donna Fedus to examine ways of connecting across generations when you work where they live.

Join us to
1. Describe how older adults become who they are
2. Examine forms of bias that can interfere with intergenerational connection
3. Apply techniques that demonstrate respect for older adults when you work where they live

Working Compassionately with Difficult Elders

People we perceive as difficult can push our buttons, scare us, be unpredictable, test our skills, trigger reactions in us and others, and ultimately work against the positive caring environments we aim to cultivate. Join us to identify common drivers of challenging behavior in older adults. Learn ways professionals can respond to older adults perceived as “difficult” in group settings such as senior living and senior centers. Note: this workshop will not address serious mental illness. 

Join us to
1. Identify what can make older adults “difficult” in group settings
2. Examine the impact of “difficult” people on your organizational culture, on your team, and on you as an individual
3. Develop concrete strategies to address “difficult” people in compassionate ways

Working with Veterans with Dementia and PTSD

Veterans who had been in combat or otherwise experienced trauma during their service may have been able to function day to day without major symptoms of PTSD… until they experienced dementia as older adults. These veterans would not have sought treatment for PTSD. However, with the loss of connection to present day reality orientation, and possible beliefs that they are back in time, old traumas could be triggered, regardless of whether the veterans ever recognized, experienced or treated PTSD when they returned home. This program offers useful perspectives and strategies to current day caregivers of older veterans with dementia.  

Join us to
1. Describe the experience of older veterans with PTSD symptoms
2. Analyze ways in which old traumas could be triggered for veterans living with dementia
3. Detail care strategies for current day caregivers of older veterans living with dementia

NOTE: meets NASW – CT’s Veterans Services licensure requirement