Alzheimer Disease

Course #66154 -


This continuing education course is intended to increase the knowledge and skills of those who are called upon to care for people with Alzheimer disease. This course contains a significant amount of information that pertains to necessary care by physicians, nurses, behavioral health professionals, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals. It also includes relevant information for all members of the interdisciplinary team to utilize when ensuring the follow-up and care of patients with Alzheimer disease. In order to support the interdisciplinary team approach, the course includes an appendix with specific nursing and caregiver interventions as well as information about special care facilities.

Education Category: Psychiatric / Mental Health
Release Date: 09/01/2023
Expiration Date: 08/31/2026

Table of Contents


This intermediate course is designed for psychologists who come in contact with patients with Alzheimer disease in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and the office.

Accreditations & Approvals

Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibility for the content of the programs.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 credit(s).

Course Objective

In order to increase and maintain a reasonable quality of life for patients with Alzheimer disease throughout the course of the disease, caregivers must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the disease. The purpose of this course is to provide psychologists with the skills to care for patients with Alzheimer disease in any setting as part of the interdisciplinary team.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Outline the characteristics and impact of Alzheimer disease.
  2. Summarize the pathophysiologic changes in the brain related to dementia and Alzheimer disease.
  3. Describe the different types of memory.
  4. List the clinical manifestations of Alzheimer disease in relation to stage of disease.
  5. Identify the goals and components of the diagnostic workup, including assistance in diagnosing non-English-proficient patients.
  6. Discuss the planning issues facing the family after the diagnosis is made.
  7. Identify components of a therapeutic environment and devise a strategy for managing patients with Alzheimer disease.
  8. Describe the appropriate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities available for Alzheimer disease.
  9. Discuss components of care in working with patients with Alzheimer disease, including rehabilitation and management of coexisting illnesses.
  10. Describe interventions for impaired communication.
  11. Identify and develop safeguards for issues of sexuality and intimacy that may occur in patients with Alzheimer disease.
  12. Apply interventions for maintaining and enhancing nutrition for individuals with Alzheimer disease.
  13. Describe successful approaches and skillfully apply interventions for managing specific behaviors common to patients with Alzheimer disease.
  14. Compare the techniques used for reminiscing, reality orientation, and validation therapy.
  15. Describe and facilitate the care required by those with end-stage Alzheimer disease.
  16. Describe and utilize effective interventions for providing support to family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer disease.


Joan Needham, MSEd, RNC, was a graduate of Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a baccalaureate degree in nursing from the College of Saint Francis in 1977 and a Master’s degree in adult education from Northern Illinois University in 1981. She was certified in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Association and worked in nursing education at various colleges in Illinois for many years. Regrettably, Ms. Needham passed away in 2010.

John M. Leonard, MD, Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, completed his post-graduate clinical training at the Yale and Vanderbilt University Medical Centers before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1974. He is a clinician-educator and for many years served as director of residency training and student educational programs for the Vanderbilt University Department of Medicine. Over a career span of 40 years, Dr. Leonard conducted an active practice of general internal medicine and an inpatient consulting practice of infectious diseases.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Joan Needham, MSEd, RNC, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Contributing faculty, John M. Leonard, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Margaret Donohue, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.