Strategies for Communication and Sensitivity for Persons Experiencing Dementia in a Workshop Setting

Part II of IV: webinar held June 21, 2017


At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to

  • Explain the communication changes that take place throughout the course of the disease,
  • Decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and respond in ways that are helpful to the person.
  • Identify strategies to connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

The Webinar will help prepare participants to deliver the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program to individuals living with early-stage dementia and their caregivers.


The series addresses professional service providers which include medical doctors, registered nurses, social workers, geriatric care managers, gerontologists, gerontology students, counselors, ombudsman/patient advocates, and family caregivers.


Ellen Phipps, CTRS, MSG, Gerontologist, is Co-Author of Connections: Engagement in Life for Persons with Dementia, A Complete Activities Guide; Vice President of Programs & Public Policy at the Alzheimer’s Association, Central & Western Virginia Chapter; and, adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ms. Phipps specializes in creative therapeutic design for persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has established intergenerational programs, and arts and music programming in a variety of settings. She received her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Colorado, at Boulder, and, a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Ellen served as Director of Adult Day Centers both in Charlottesville, VA and Somerset, England providing creative and innovative approaches to care.


demDevin Bowers, MPH, is the Dementia Services Coordinator (DSC) for the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Mrs. Bowers coordinates services across the Commonwealth provided to persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, working in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission.

Within DARS, Mrs. Bowers reviews existing programs and works with agencies to more effectively deliver services to Virginians with dementia, and identify gaps and reduce duplication in those services.

Prior to assuming this position Mrs. Bowers worked with DARS coordinating Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) and Options Counseling, and contributed to the development of the report, Dementia Care Best Practices in the Commonwealth.

Mrs. Bowers is a graduate of the Master of Public Health program at George Mason University, specializing in global and community health, and the Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Aging Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Webinar made possible through a grant from the Administration for Community Living

Additional support: Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and Alzheimer's Association Central and Western Virginia



Communication Strategies for CDSMP

Download slides here.




The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease


‘Lessons Learned’: How to conduct a workshop that includes persons living with early-stage dementia


Reflecting on the experience of CDSME workshops including participants living with early stage dementia