3 Certified Dementia Practitioners at Valley VNA

Joelin Mueller, Gwen Van Handel, RN; and Christy Feuersthaler are Certified Dementia Practitioners© at Valley VNA.

Specialized Training to Assess, Soothe People with Dementia and Help Colleagues, Families

By Joelin Mueller, CDP, Valley VNA Life Enrichment Team Lead

Three caregivers at Valley VNA Senior Care have earned our Certified Dementia Practitioner© Certification from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). Gwen Van Handel, RN; Christy Feuersthaler, music coordinator, and I now hold the CDP© designation. Together with our direct caregiving experience and education, we completed additional training to achieve this specialized certification. The certification term is two years and requires 10 hours of continuing education for renewal.

I believe the investment in extraordinary dementia caregiving training raises the level of knowledge, thoughtful discussion, and continuous improvement surrounding caregiving to people experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss. We are part of a process that is continually providing updates and education on topics like how to sooth an agitated person, behavior assessment tools, and other best practices. I can recognize a behavior and step in to help our residents and be a resource to my co-workers. Certified Dementia Practitioners© also meet with resident and client families, especially when their loved ones are experiencing significant changes in their behaviors and abilities.

Valley VNA Senior Care holds Wisconsin Assisted Living Association (WALA) Diamond-Accreditation for assisted living communities, and Certified Dementia Practitioner© Certification is part of our ongoing quality improvement (QI) efforts.