Remember This - 2012: Third Seminar

Remember This - 2012: Third Seminar

Active with Dementia

“Remember This” Seminar Series

This 2012 series of lectures, designed to address crucial topics in dementia and memory care, is presented in conjunction with the opening of Cohen-Rosen House, a new memory care residence. The seminars are sponsored by the Hurwitz Lecture Fund at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Here are notes from the third lecture:

Active with Dementia

Presenter: Patricia Hagen, CTRS
Director of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Programs
Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Definition of Dementia (CPI, 2012)

  • The loss of memory and mental processing of such severity as to interfere with a person’s daily functioning. Individuals can no longer live or function independently.
  • Dementia is not a disease itself, but a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions.

Some dementias are classified as reversible, such as those caused by depression, tumors, traumatic brain injury, normal pressure hydrocephalus, infections, and stroke. 

Alzheimer's Dementia (CPI, 2012)

  • A progressive, neurodegenerative disease.
  • Characterized by the loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain.
  • No known cure.
  • Most common form of dementia.

Alzheimer's Prevalence Statistics ( 

  • People usually live 8 to 20 years after Alzheimer’s onset.
  • Affects about 5.4 million Americans.
  • Number is expected to grow to 16 million by 2050.
  • 12.5% of people over age of 65 and almost 50% of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • About 60-85% of people in long-term care have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. 

Vascular Dementia (Multi-Infarct) (CPI, 2012 & Mayo Clinic)

  • General term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to your brain.
  • Vascular Dementia often occurs concurrently with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Onset is usually more abrupt than Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Progression occurs in a stepwise fashion.

Lewy Body Dementia

  • Lewy body dementia, abnormal round structures, called Lewy bodies, develop in regions of your brain involved in thinking & movement.
  • Has a fluctuation course in alertness & attention.
  • Often presents with episodes of hallucinations and signs of parkinsonism.
  • Has moved to the top three causes of dementia.

Frontotemporal Dementia (CPI, 2012 & Mayo Clinic) 

  • Umbrella term for a diverse group of uncommon disorders that primarily affect the frontal & temporal lobes of the brain.
  •  These areas are generally associated with personality, behavior and language.
  • Presents earlier than other forms of dementia.
  • Includes Pick’s Disease and primary progressive aphasia.

Four Sets of Symptoms to be Aware of as They Relate to Dementia (CPI, 2012)

  • Cognition – memory, attention, problem solving, sequencing.
  • Physical – balance, strength, range of motion.
  • Sensory – hearing, vision, touch, pain, etc.
  • Emotional – mood state, psychological, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cognition: Best Ability to Function (CPI, 2012)

  • Cognition is the primary determinant of a person’s maximum ability to function in every activity.

Cognitive Components - Memory (CPI, 2012)

  • Short-Term Memory
  • Working Memory
  • Long-Term Memory
  • Procedural Memory

Best Ability to Function (CPI, 2012)

  • Dr. Barry Reisberg compares stages of dementia to developmental age.
  • Claudia Allen, OTR  describes providing the “just-right challenge” as the means to achieve one’s Best Ability to Function.
  • Person-Centered Care
  • Change negative perspective to positive perspective.
  • A person living with dementia always has remaining ability. Think the positive!   

Negative Perspective      

  • See disabilities.
  • Do for the person.
  • Facilitate excess disability leading to poor quality of life.

Positive Perspective

  • Do with the person.
  • Creat "just-right challenge" to facilitate BATF and QOL.
  • Consider Can Do, Will Do and May Do

 Small Group Programs

  • Reminiscing
  • Gardening
  • Word From a Word, Trivia, Word Games
  • Finish the Story, Storytelling
  • Art: Painting, Drawing, Beadwork
  • Music


  • Touch and feel
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Hear
  • See
  • Talk: spark memory, know individual’s history, initiate conversation


  • Does the individual like to garden?
  • Does the person tolerate their hands to be dirty?
  • Make sure you have all the supplies: gloves, dirt, flowers, shovel, handy wipes, etc.
  • Break down the activity into smaller steps if too confusing.
  • Lay out one item at a time on table to make activity simpler.

Word from a Word

  • Six, seven or eight letter-words are easier than smaller words to use in pulling out new words. 
  • Help out and make it fun.
  • ry to pair up individuals on similar cognitive levels.
  • Write large, neatly and in dark colors.

Finish the Story

  • Take a camping trip – what will you need to bring?
  • You are cooking a meal for dinner tonight – what will you cook?
  • You are going fishing – what will you need to bring?


  • Ceramics, molding clay.
  • Paint bird houses, baskets, cups.
  • Color, draw or paint a picture.
  • Always use non-toxic paints.
  • Everything is perfect through the artist’s eyes.
  • Have fun!


  • 2007 Creating Moments of Joy, by Jolene Brakey
  • 2011 Crisis Prevention Institute: Dementia Capable Care
  • 1998-2012 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research: Lewy Body Dementia; Frontotemporal Dementia; Vascular Dementia

 Cohen-Rosen Logo 


1799 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD 20852
301.816.5050 or TDD 301.816.5023




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