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Digital Seminar

2-Day Certification Conference: Alzheimer's, Dementias and Geriatric Mental Health Conditions

Micheal Shafer, PhD
13 Hours
Aug 27, 2020
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


No matter the discipline, very few providers have received adequate training on safely and effectively meeting the complex mental and behavioural health needs of older adults.

Don’t be caught unprepared!

Whether you’re a social worker, psychologist, counsellor, nurse, OT, PT, SLP, or Long-Term Care professional, this training is exactly what you need to ensure proper care for geriatric patients facing Alzheimer’s, other dementias, depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use issues, and suicidal ideation. More than a broad overview, this training will give you specific strategies and interventions tailored to older adults.

During this specialized training you’ll receive:

  • Cognitive assessment tools and interpretation tips
  • Practical solutions to challenging behaviours in dementia patients
  • Detailed guidance on recognizing the warning signs of suicidal behaviour in older adults
  • Adaptive solutions to treat late life depression, anxiety, trauma and drug use
  • Tips and tactics for successfully working with families

Purchase today and leave feeling prepared and confident in your ability to overcome the most challenging complexities of working with geriatric patients as a Certified Dementia Care Specialist (CDCS)!


Completion of this training fulfils the educational requirements should you choose to apply for certification as a Certified Dementia Care Specialist (CDCS) – Visit for answers to frequently asked certification questions.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 13 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Micheal Shafer, PhD's Profile

Micheal Shafer, PhD Related seminars and products

Micheal Shafer Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of people with dementia. Dr. Shafer holds multiple teaching positions in the Michigan State University School of Medicine in the departments Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Radiology.


Dr. Shafer lectures nationally on a variety of clinical and research issues, and has conducted numerous trainings for physicians about medication utilization and mechanisms of actions, particularly for those used to treat Alzheimer's Disease. His primary research/clinical interests include the assessment of neuropsychological disorders (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s) and the study of localized brain functioning. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Dr. Shafer provided hospital-based counseling services and conducted research at the University of Maryland Medical School.


Dr. Shafer earned his M.A. degree in applied psychology from the University of Baltimore and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis on neuropsychology from the University of North Texas.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Micheal Shafer has employment relationships with Michigan Health, MSU PM&R, and PAR Rehab Services. He is the founder and president of Greater Lansing CARE Foundation. Dr. Shafer receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Micheal Shafer is a journal reviewer for Neuropsychology, Journal of Head Trauma, and the Journal of Primary Prevention. He is a member of the Functional Neurological Disorder Society (FNDS), the Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40, APA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), and the Michigan Psychological Association (MPA).


  1. Investigate how psychosocial changes, life role transitions, and the unique stressors of late life can impact the mental health of older adults.
  2. Evaluate how changes in the function of the aging brain and body impact the mental health of older adults.
  3. Investigate how an aging metabolism’s ability to process pharmacological treatments creates unique safety concerns with geriatric patients.
  4. Distinguish between types of dementia and connect this information to prognosis.
  5. Differentiate between the Mini-Mental State Examination and SLUMS as cognitive assessment tools.
  6. Determine the potential causes of delusions and hallucinations in dementia patients to help reduce the risks of dangerous complications.
  7. Assess for pain in dementia patients by understanding behavioral cues such as restlessness and agitation.
  8. Investigate the complexity of suicidal behavior in older adults and use this information to improve your ability to identify the warning signs.
  9. Evaluate how medical issues can contribute to late-life anxiety and investigate evidenced-based psychological treatments that can help patients reduce symptomology.
  10. Appraise how psychological trauma can manifest as somatic complaints and determine how this impacts trauma assessment in elderly patients.
  11. Employ adaptive exercise solutions for physically challenged patients as a late-life depression intervention.
  12. Investigate why substance abuse in elder patients is often overlooked and use simple assessment instruments to help identify it.


Dementia Differentiation, Diagnosis and Prognosis

  • Types of dementia and how to differentiate between them
  • Pseudo-dementia explanations
  • Mild Neuro-Cognitive Disorder
  • Diagnosis, prognosis, and stages
  • The latest preventative treatments

Cognitive Assessment Essentials

  • Mini-Mental State Examination
  • Administration and scoring
  • Objective and subjective interpretation

Challenging Behavior Toolbox:
Trigger Identification, Problem Solving, and Compassionate Intervention Strategies

  • Individualizing care - strengths and limitations
  • Pain and pain assessment
  • Tactics for verbal and physical combativeness
  • Agitation - triggers, pain and care planning
  • Delusions and hallucinations -- potential causes and complications
  • Wandering – redirection techniques to reduce risks
  • Tips for working with sundowners
  • Sexual expressiveness and interventions for dignity
  • Activities of Daily Living - structure and engagement strategies

Verbal and Non-Verbal Strategies for Communication:
Reduce Frustration and Increase Understanding with Dementia Patients

  • When traditional communication is replaced by behaviours
  • Person centred: Gathering beliefs and values
  • Effective tips for communicating with dementia patients
    • Find the meaning behind the gesture
    • How to avoid arguments
    • What questions to ask, and how to ask them
  • Meaningful activities that connect

Tips and Tactics for Successfully Working with Caregivers

  • Family dynamics
  • Validation, empathy and active listening
  • Caregiver burnout and where to go for help
  • End of life issues
  • Ethical issues and abuse

How Aging Impacts Mental Health

  • The aging brain, body and unique stressors of late life
  • Social systems, stigma and life role transitions
  • How medical illness impacts mental health

Geriatric Pharmacology:
Essential Considerations for Safety and Effectiveness

  • The senior metabolism and unique safety concerns
  • Common side effect of drugs on seniors
  • Interactive effects to be aware of

Late-Life Depression:
Assessment and Interventions

  • Assessment strategies for late-life depression
  • The role of social support
  • Working with grief and loss
  • Cognitive approaches to focus on today’s problems
  • Adaptive exercise solutions for the physically challenged

Suicide in Older Adults:
How to Recognize the Warning Signs and Properly Intervene

  • The complexity of suicidal behaviour in older adults
  • Assessment and screening tools
  • Treatment approaches and crisis guidance

Alcohol and Drug Use in the Elderly

  • Unique vulnerabilities and diagnostic difficulties
  • Assessment instruments
  • Motivational Interviewing and relapse prevention strategies

Late-Life Anxiety:
Identification and Treatment Strategies Adapted to Older Adults

  • Risk factors, stressors and symptoms
  • Loss of social support and fear of being alone
  • Medical issues and hypochondria
  • Evidence-based psychological treatments

Trauma-Informed Treatment of Older Adults

  • What the latest research tells us – and what it doesn’t
  • Special considerations when assessing seniors for trauma
  • Trauma and somatic complaints

The Role of Nutrition in Geriatric Behavioral Problems

  • How vitamin and mineral deficiencies impact behaviour
  • How the volatility of blood sugar can impact behaviour
  • Strategies for non-compliant eating

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Counselors
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Assisted Living Facility Administrators
  • Long Term/Acute Care Professionals
  • Case Managers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists

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