Introduction to Alzheimer’s and Dementia


Hi, I’m Elizabeth Swider, your geriatric care manager with Care is There, and your host. 

Welcome to our course “Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia – What to Expect and What to Do.” If you want to learn a little more about me, watch the separate short video called “About Elizabeth Swider, Your Educator.”

But in this case, your Educator will be Certified Dementia Practitioner Judi Kelly Cleary. Judi has over 25 years of experience working with people with dementia as an activities director and an assisted living executive director. For over ten years she’s been training both professional and family caregivers on how to work effectively with people who have dementia. I met Judi when I took one of her classes. I’ve admired her effective, compassionate, and practical approach ever since. 

Judi also provides personal consultations and other education. Check the Lesson Materials tab for a link to more information.

In this introduction I’ll give you a quick summary of the content of this course and I’ll explain the course format and how this course fits in to your long distance caregiving journey and our overall course catalog.

Course Summary

In this course Judi will explain:

  • The causes, symptoms, and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia
  • How the brain works and stages of dementia
  • How to understanding the behaviors and changes in personality of a person who has dementia
  • How to enhance communication with a person who has dementia
  • How to create an effective environment for a person who has dementia

By taking this course you will be able to understand why your loved one is behaving the way they are, which will give you peace of mind and help you be more effective in caring for them or arranging their care.

Course Format


This course contains a number of lessons. The display of the lessons may vary based on your device, but they will likely be displayed on the left side of your screen. If you don’t see them displayed, look for a menu icon or an arrow or button that will expand the list.

Each lesson contains a video. If you would like to read the course content, go to the Lesson Materials tab, find the section called “Written Version of this Lesson”, and click the link to download the pdf. You will need a PDF reader, such as the free version of Adobe Acrobat.


Lesson Materials

The Lesson Materials tab also includes other resources, like links to additional Care is There courses, personal coaching, and our Facebook group. 

More Help

For more help, email us at


How This Course Fits In

This course goes hand in hand with other courses on the basics of long distance caregiving. I highly recommend that you take those courses as well. I have provided links in the Lesson Materials tab so you can register for them. 

Our course “Finding Common Ground: How to Gain Agreement on Eldercare Decisions Even if You Have Failed in the Past,” will help you prevent or settle disputes with your loved one or others in the care process. I recommend taking it before or along with this course, because it will change the way you see your role as a long distance caregiver and therefore influence the choices you make. After taking that course you may find care options that are less expensive and easier for everyone to agree on than any you have even thought about so far.

Our Course: “How to Create a Care Plan that Works for Your Whole Family” will show you how to create a care plan for your loved one by walking you through the assessment process and will help you find effective solutions to each of the issues you uncover. When you finish that short course, you will have a written care plan, agreed to by your loved one and your local caregivers, that you can put into action. If you don’t already have a care plan for your loved one or if you have one but want to validate it, improve it or update it, I recommend taking that course.

Our Course: “The Pro Guide to Becoming a Successful Long Distance Caregiver” I will show you how to obtain the permission and access you need to perform your role effectively, how to build a care team, how to pay for care. I will show you how to make the most out of visits to see your loved one, and how you or local caregivers can get the most out of your loved ones’ doctor’s appointments. I will help you become prepared for a medical emergency, learn how to recognize and prevent fraud and abuse, and know when your loved one needs additional help.

By taking that course you will earn the confidence to lead your loved one’s care and be proud of the support you provide to the entire care team. No more need to feel guilty, frustrated, or regretful.

In addition to these basic courses, we have a library of other courses explaining how to implement individual care options. I’ll put a link to the Course Library in the Lesson Materials.

If you would like to discuss your individual situation with one of our geriatric care managers, you can purchase a private coaching session from us. And if you would like to be part of a community of long distance caregivers, join our Facebook Group: Caregiving Long Distance. 

Again, links to all these are included in the Lesson Materials. 

For more help, email us at


Let’s Get Started!

That’s it – everything you need to know to get started. So let’s dive in. Click on the link for the next lesson!