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Certified Dementia Practitioner Care: How It Helps

Body Mind on Dementia Map

Submitted by Beth Rush
Founder and Managing Editor
Body+Mind Magazine

Finding the best quality of care is essential when someone receives a dementia diagnosis. Dementia care requires dedication, a superior work ethic, and endless compassion.

It’s why many individuals seek certified dementia practitioner care for their long-term needs. Understanding how this specialized area of dementia care works is vital to determine if it’s what you want for yourself or your loved one.

What Is Certified Dementia Practitioner Care?

Certified dementia practitioner care is a collection of services provided by a health care worker who earned a specialized certification to work with dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. These are healthcare professionals you might find at home care agencies, senior centers, adult day care, hospice agencies, and many more outlets. You may even find some CDPs as first responders and other social workers.

Although the health care industry is full of capable medical workers, those with specialized training are more well-versed in memory care.

A CDP certification is available to health care workers who meet the criteria shown on the NCCDP website:

  • They attended a National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Seminar to learn about how memory-impairing illnesses progress and when patients need specific levels of care.
  • They’ve been a paid worker in senior health care for at least one year.
  • They qualify to work with geriatric patients because they have a degree, license or certification.
  • They meet their state’s regulations for senior health care without a certification, degree or license.

You can look up someone’s medical license by visiting your state’s health care personnel registry online. They don’t need one to earn a CDP certification, but it’s something many people want to verify before trusting themselves or their loved ones to a CDP’s care. Above all, you want them to have a deep personal commitment to each dementia patient, have comprehensive knowledge about best practices, and have had all the specific training needed.

Benefits of Certified Dementia Practitioner Care

Health care professionals who are also certified dementia practitioners provide these specific patient benefits. They’re worth considering if you’re looking for caregivers who love their work and genuinely care for the geriatric population.

1. They Prioritize Their Patient’s Mental Health

Certified dementia practitioner care training prioritizes each patient’s mental health over traditional responses to memory loss. The latest research says instead of encouraging people to remember the correct date, they should support whatever date they believe it is. Avoiding confusion reduces stress, allowing them to enjoy their time as much as possible.

Focusing on mental health also means a dementia care trainer or certified graduate knows how to help their patients in more ways than one. While completing daily care tasks, they also encourage those without mobility impairments to move more, reducing their stress with gentle cardio exercises like walking. It’s another way CDPs provide well-rounded services compared to health care providers without dementia care training.

2. They Create Long-Term Care Plans

A CDP certification also means caregivers know how to make long-term patient care plans. They assess each individual to understand how their dementia or Alzheimer’s currently affects them. Afterward, they’ll know how to provide the best physical, cognitive and emotional support during each stage of the patient’s life.

3. They Educate Family Members

Dementia care trainers know that a patient’s quality of life doesn’t depend exclusively on their caregiver’s bedside manner. They also want their loved ones to be OK. CDPs communicate dementia care advice to family members who might struggle with their family member’s condition. Through the individual’s professional knowledge, the extra information communicated in easy-to-understand ways makes the experience more manageable for those who love someone with dementia.

4. They Advocate for Their Patients

Health care professionals who better understand their patients’ needs can effectively advocate for them. Certified dementia practitioner caregivers keep meticulous records of patient observations, effective interventions, and how they respond to various changes in routine.

The documentation provides proof when care partners advocate for improved health care services. Many patients require more autonomy in their early dementia stages to strengthen their self-esteem while adjusting to their need for assistance. Advocating in those moments for the best balance of autonomy and beneficence requires the point of view that comes from a Certified Dementia Practitioner certification.

Expert Care Partners Are Here to Help

Finding Certified Dementia Practitioner care can drastically change the quality of life for someone diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Consider the benefits of someone with CDP training compared to standard health care providers to find the best care partner for yourself and your loved one.

Body Mind on Dementia Map

Beth Rush
Founder and Managing Editor
Body+Mind Magazine

Beth Rush is a Founder and the Managing Editor at Body+Mind and a lover of all things health and wellness.

In her spare time, Beth enjoys cooking healthy recipes and trying out new fitness trends.

Visit Beth on Dementia Map or on her website.

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