by Beth Friesen, RN CCM CSA CDP CADDCT
Seniors living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia experience a unique aging journey, as memory loss affects every aspect of their day-to-day lives. Certified Dementia Practitioners® (CDPs) are specially trained and equipped with a unique knowledge of the memory loss community, and seniors and their families who are referred to or choose to work with a CDP® can rest assured that they have a trusted partner and guide to help them navigate this season of life.
Dementia is a complex neurodegenerative brain disease, of which there are more than 90 different types. Every individual living with a form of dementia presents the disease in a different way, therefore, the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. All forms of dementia provide a unique set of challenges that can be overwhelming for seniors and their loved ones to overcome on their own. With an estimated 6.2 million Americans ages 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s, understanding the value of a CDP is more important than ever.
The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) is a global leader in dementia education. The organization is dedicated to promoting, encouraging and enhancing the knowledge, skills and practice of healthcare professionals and others who provide care and service to seniors living with dementia. The CDP is a training program organized by the NCCDP.
During training, an in-depth look at the disease is offered, along with various strategies centered around maximizing the safety, dignity and well-being of those affected by dementia. In order to complete the course and receive the designation, the individual must meet eligibility requirements, including completion of an exam. In addition, continuing education must be completed with every renewal, so the learning truly never ends.
The CDP program recognizes the need for standards in the area of Alzheimer’s and dementia education, and it helps improve the services provided by health care professionals and frontline staff. In the past, dementia training has often centered around the caregiver, instead of the recipient of that care. However, the CDP keeps the focus on those with the disease and those who love them.
Beth Friesen, owner of Oasis Senior Advisors Lincoln, has a passion for supporting seniors and families who are living with a memory-related diagnosis, and she has undergone the extensive training to obtain her certification as a CDP.
Friesen believes that some of the greatest magic that occurs during training is the organic discussions amongst the participants. A typical training class will contain activity professionals, home care providers, executive directors, social workers, direct care staff and others, all who bring differing perspectives. According to Friesen, their collection of unique experiences and transfer of ideas is priceless.
When seniors and their loved ones work with a CDP, they know that they are working with a professional who is not just qualified to work with dementia patients, but certified. They have a deep, personal commitment, not only to their profession but more importantly to the patients and families they serve.
At Oasis, the referral process for new clients is simple, efficient and effective. If you have a patient or client who is living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, Oasis Senior Advisors can offer many solutions for their unique needs, including residential services and programming that focus on memory care. To connect with or find a CDP, contact your local Oasis advisors at (888) 455-5838.
To learn more about becoming a Certified Dementia Practitioner, visit the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners at https://www.nccdp.org/.