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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

South Carolina’s Dementia Dialogues Program Goes National

Based in the Arnold School of Public Health’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina, the Office for the Study of Aging has trained more than 21,000 South Carolinians with their Dementia Dialogues program since it was created in 2002. The program consists of a five-session course designed to educate individuals who care for persons who exhibit signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. They also have a module for training others who can provide the training to caregivers across the state. This train-the-trainer component has resulted in 24 Certified Dementia Dialogues trainers who deliver the program throughout the state.

In early August, the office kicked off a nationwide rollout of the program in Utah while hosted by the University of Utah’s College of Nursing and Solstice Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care. As program development and training manager within the Office for the Study of Aging, Dr. Macie Smith conducted the sessions for 75 professionals and family caregivers. She also certified five professionals with the two-day train-the-trainer module to facilitate the program in Salt Lake County and surrounding areas.

“Dementia Dialogues was requested due to the growing need for dementia-capable education for family members, caregivers and professionals working in the field in the Salt Lake City area,” Dr. Smith says. “The information is practical and presented in a manner that is applicable and easily understood.”

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