Help For Families With Dementia and Alzheimers

Web based - easy to use - anywhere
There is a growing national crisis of memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease and those caring for a loved one need any and all help they can get.  Our mission at The CareGiver Parntership is to help caregivers and their loved ones remain in their homes as long as possible.  We recently became aware of HealthCare Interactive and wanted to share it with you.  We do not sell this product nor do we earn any money if you elect to purchase it.

HCI offers training products for family members and professional caregivers. Their educational DVDs, CD-ROMs, and web-based products are easy to use. Each requires only basic computer or DVD skills and can be used in the privacy of your home or work setting. HCI's CARES® Dementia Basics™ and CARES® Dementia Advanced Care™ online training programs qualify individuals for Alzheimer's Association®essentiALZ™ certification.

HCI was founded in 1997 by John Hobday, an educational and instructional design expert, dementia researcher, and software developer. Mr. Hobday serves as HCI’s President and CEO and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Business.

They have collaborated directly with nationally known Alzheimer's and dementia researchers at organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Duke University, Emory University, Metropolitan State University, Michigan State University, New York University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of South Florida, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Institutes of Health.  

HealthCare Interactive's "CARES Approach" was developed by top clinical and university educators. It is an easy-to-learn, easy-to-remember approach to care that can be used in any situation with any level of cognitive decline. 

The CARES Approach is about helping people with dementia in a sensitive, thoughtful, and respectful way, like you would for a good friend or parent, or like you would like to be treated yourself. It is about looking at the way a person with dementia sees or experiences a situation so that you can respond in a way that makes sense to him or her. It's about adding meaning to their lives and creating moments for success. If you use the CARES Approach, the person you're caring for is less likely to become fearful, angry, or upset, which will make your job much easier. And, it will enrich the lives of the people you care for. CARES, a person-centered approach to care, is an acronym that stands for:

C - Connect with the Person

Smile, say hello, and use a positive physical approach every time you interact with the person who has dementia. Approach slowly from the front. Move to the side, and crouch down to make eye contact. Introduce yourself and use the person's name. Offer your hand instead of taking theirs. Over time, try to learn about the person's background and interests and look for "something meaningful" in their life to talk about. This will help you further make a connection with the person.

A - Assess Behavior

This is a critical step in the CARES Approach. It's not about assessing the situation, but instead assessing the person's behavior. After making a connection, observe the person's behavior. Remember that all behavior has meaning, and think about what it could mean or what the person is trying to communicate. Is he or she hungry? Tired? In pain? Bored? Confused? The next time you are trying to figure out what is wrong with the person you are caring for, try putting yourself in his or her shoes and considering their perspective-then assess their behavior. You can also seek input from family members or other caregivers. Your detective work might help you figure out what's wrong, or why a particular situation is happening.

R - Respond Appropriately

The third step in the CARES Approach is about responding to the person's emotional and physical needs based on what you "assessed" about the person in the second step. The critical point of this step is to realize that it is not the person who needs to change-but instead, it is you! This means you need to change your approach if the person is upset or uncomfortable. Try to understand what the person needs, and then respond appropriately.

E - Evaluate What Works

It is important that you think about and evaluate what is working and what is not working-the fourth step in the CARES Approach. This will help you figure out the best approach for the person you are caring for. It's important to be patient, flexible, and creative. If the response you tried in the last step didn't work, do not immediately go back to the "R - Respond" step. Instead, return to the beginning, and start by making a connection again. This is critical to the success of the CARES Approach.

S - Share with Others

All steps in the CARES Approach are important. The fact that this step, Share with Others, does not involve direct care does not make it less important. Sharing successful approaches among staff and family members can help everyone avoid difficult situations. It's important that the care team works together so the needs of the person with dementia are fully understood.  To learn more go to

 Founder of The CareGiver Partnership - Lynn Wilson Welcomes Caregivers

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wis. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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