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Plans receive Dementia Dialogues training. Courses open to the public.

Throughout the Healthy Connections Prime demonstration, health plans were afforded the opportunity to attend Dementia Dialogues, a structured dementia education program developed by the Office for the Study of Aging at the University of South Carolina.  Dementia Dialogues educated the care coordinators employed by the health plans about:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer's Disease
  • How to communicate effectively with families dealing with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, and
  • How to appropriately respond to challenging behaviors by using non pharmacological strategies and behavior tracking techniques. 

This training also equipped the care coordinators with the tools they needed to coordinate appropriate services for seniors living with dementia and their natural support systems.  As a result of engaging health plans in Dementia Dialogues, we have successfully certified at least one Dementia Specialist with each of the 4 health plans and have approved 3 Dementia Dialogues Instructors with 2 of the health plans.

Dementia Specialist Training Course

Dementia Dialogues is a 7.5 hour training course that awards a Dementia Specialist certificate after successful completion.  According to a Consumer Directed Care Project (developed by the Alzheimer's Association through the Alzheimer's Disease Demonstration Grants and funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging) Dementia Dialogues is a promising dementia-specific training program that improves the skills of professional staff working with persons living with dementia (

Train-the-Trainer Option

Dementia Dialogues also has a train-the-trainer component that qualifies individuals to conduct Dementia Dialogues as a volunteer instructor as needs arise. Individuals selected to participate in the Train-the-Trainer course would have completed Dementia Dialogues and are Dementia Specialists.  Those selected to participate in the Train-the-Trainer course will be exposed to detailed content as well as adult learning principles. The model of instruction is based on Kolb's Cycle of Experiential Learning. Participants enrolled in the course will be afforded a practice-oriented learning experience that relates to an area of growing concern for family members, health care professionals, and practitioners. To receive a certificate and the approval to facilitate Dementia Dialogues, participants must attend 2 days of instruction, participate in discussion, give mock presentations, and complete a post-test and a written evaluation. The course is conducted over two days with a total of 12 continuing education hours.


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