Dementia Care Training Certificate Program


West Virginia University and the Alzheimer's Association, West Virginia Chapter, partnered to bring this course, "Dementia Care Training Certificate Program," to anyone interested in the field of dementia care.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, and are cared for by an estimated 15 million Americans.  As the baby boomers continue to age, the field of in-home dementia care will continue to grow as well.  Currently, the dementia care field is dramatically under-staffed to meet this high demand.

The care needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia change throughout the course of the disease, but ultimately the individual will need 24/7 care.  Due to the nature of the disease, providing care can often be challenging when individuals are not trained in the specifics of dementia care.  Throughout this course you will learn the intricacies of Alzheimer's and dementia, and care practices that provide the highest quality of care to meet the needs of those who face this devastating disease.

Dementia care is challenging, however the heartfelt rewards of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's far exceed the challenges.

Cost: $199/500


The purpose of this course is to provide the student with basic skills in the care of those with dementia and/or alzheimer's.  At the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  •  Understand the difference between Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.
  • Identify and use alternate communication techniques when caring for someone with Alzheimer's or dementia.
  • Acquire a foundation for best practices and approaches for daily engagement and care.
  • Discuss a broad spectrum of caregiving and family issues, including end of life, safety, abuse, intimacy and care goals.


Course Structure and Schedule

The cost is $199/per individual course and $500 for all 3 courses/certificate program.  Course will launch on May 1, 2014, but students can enroll at any time during the term.  A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.

Nursing has approved CEUs as follows:  17 Units - 1.0 CEU for each Unit once student has demonstrated completion of the unit and the evaluation form.  There is no charge for Nursing CEUs.

Social Work has approved CEUs as follows:  Course 1 - 10 CE Hours, Cost $20; Course 2 - 12-14 CE Hours (depending if Unit 1 is included), Cost $20; Course 3 - 10-12 CE Hours(depending if Unit 1 is included), Cost $20; All 3 Courses - 32 CE Hours, Cost $60.  Additionally, Social Work has approved all 3 courses for the Gerontology Practitioner Certificate (GPC).  There is no additional fee for GPC hours.  A listing of the GPC approvals can be found at this link:

Those students who are interested in Social Work CEUs will pay a separate charge in addition to the course or certificate program cost.  The CEU payment form can be found at this link:

Course 1 - Pathology & New Approaches

Unit 1:  Alzheimer's Disease:  What Is It?

Unit 2:  The Pathology and the Impact

Unit 3:  The Dementia Challenges of Communication

Unit 4:  Actions Speak Louder Than Words - Behaviors and Dementia

Unit 5:  Personal Care and Daily Living

Course 2 - Identifying Needs & Changes in Care

Unit 1:  Alzheimer's Disease:  What Is It?  (Students can test out at 80% pass rate if Unit 1 was taken in Course 1.)

Unit 6:  What To Do All Day . . . or All Night

Unit 7:  Nutrition and Eating

Unit 8:  Intimacy and Dementia

Unit 9:  Safety

Unit 10:  Your Role with Medications

Unit 11:  Recognizing and Managing Pain

Course 3 - Caregiver Needs and the Later Stages

Unit 1:  Alzheimer's Disease:  What Is It? (Students can test out at 80% pass rate if Unit 1 was taken in Course 1.)

Unit 12:  Late Stage Care

Unit 13:  Understanding Abuse

Unit 14:  Care Goals

Unit 15:  Interacting with the Family

Unit 16:  Managing Your Stress as a Caregiver

Unit 17:  The Basicis of Joining the Professional Care Workforce


High School Diploma or GED required.

Computer Requirements

  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Quicktime
  • Flash Player
  • Java

(Free software plug-ins are available in the "Getting Started" area of the couse.)

All Students: Using Internet Explorer (IE) 10? Read info on eCampus Main Page

Instructor Information

Amy Ernst is the Training & Education Director for the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and holds a degree in Psychology. Amy has worked in healthcare related service since 1987, and has worked with senior populations since 1981. She has a well-embracing background in dementia care. She joined the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter in July of 2009 as the Training and Education Specialist. Amy has daily contact with families supporting individuals with dementia, as well as routine contact with individuals diagnosed with dementia. Amy has an extensive background in staff training, supervision, and daily hands-on operations with residents in congregate care settings. Her professional career has allowed her to be involved in routine training development and dementia care environment design for long term care facilities, assisted living, and in senior centers.

Loriann Sonntag works for the Alzheimer’s Association, WV Chapter, as a Program Coordinator. Loriann supports and serves caregivers, families and persons with dementia by establishing essential interactive relationships with the community. She is also responsible for building and strengthening community partnerships to expand programming opportunities in the areas of Community Outreach, Program Presentation and Training, Support Group Facilitation, Physician’s Outreach, Volunteer Recruitment, Fund Development and Marketing, and Public Policy.

Registration Information 

Register Online by adding your course to cart through our secure server. You will be receiving email with your online course access information within five working days. Please check your spam or junk folder in case the confirmation email was misplaced there. Call 1-800-253-2762, or email if you have any questions. Major credit cards are accepted.

Check our FAQ and Refund Policy for refund and class access information.