Health professionals—get tools and training for your practice

Health professionals—physicians, nurses, social workers, and others—play an important role in identifying and caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Check out Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources for Professionals to access FREE resources on topics like:

  • Tools for assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management
  • Disease-specific information
  • Professional training and curricula
  • Clinical trials and studies
  • Patient care
  • Patient and caregiver education

Make communication easier for a person with Alzheimer’s disease

Check out these 5 tips to make communication easier between you and a person with Alzheimer’s:

  • Make eye contact and call the person by name
  • Be aware of your tone, how loud your voice is, how you look at the person, and your body language
  • Encourage two-way conversation for as long as possible
  • Use other methods besides speaking, such as gentle touching
  • Try distracting the person if communication creates problems

Visit the ADEAR website to learn more about the changes in communication that may accompany Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Care Professionals: Online course for Practical Discussions about Cognitive Impairment with Patients

Discussing memory concerns with your patients can be difficult. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are complex, and patients often have a lot of questions and concerns.

To help you prepare for these visits, the Alzheimer’s Association® presents Challenging Conversations About Dementia.

The five-module online course covers:

  1. Counseling the Worried Well Patient: Review of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Risk Factors
  2. Diagnosing the Cause of Dementia: Why Is This Important?
  3. The Road Ahead to a Differential Diagnosis: What Can the Patient Expect?
  4. Caring for a Patient Newly Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease: What Needs to be Addressed?
  5. Driving Retirement: Challenging Conversations in Community Mobility

In this free course, you’ll receive information to confidently approach the detection, diagnostic and care-planning process for your patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.

Complete this course at

Libraries: A valuable component of the Dementia Friendly Illinois initiative

As Illinois embarks on its journey to make the State dementia friendly, an important resource to include in the planning process is its public libraries.  Public libraries are respected institutions that can be found in nearly every town, village and city in the state.  No longer content to be mere warehouses for books, libraries are increasingly taking on inclusive projects as vital participants in their communities.

Libraries can make a valuable contribution to the Dementia Friendly Illinois initiative.  The Dementia Friendly America website includes a Library Sector Guide that outlines a wide variety of activities and resources available through libraries.  In addition to offering educational and informational programming about dementia to caregivers and the general public, libraries contain a wealth of materials that can be used to stimulate and engage people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.

A growing number of Illinois libraries are already offering programs and services directly to this population.  Here are just a few of the things that libraries are doing:

  • Bringing programs to memory care facilities – for one example see Tales & Travel Memories at the Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin (check out the video of the program in action)
  • Hosting Memory Cafes – see Memory Lane Social at the Mokena Community Public Library District
  • Circulating memory kits – see the Forget Me Not Resource Center at the Effingham Public Library

Illinois libraries are banding together to share ideas and expertise in an effort to expand services to persons living with dementia.  Libraries belonging to the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) in northern Illinois have formed a Serving Patrons with Dementia Group that meets quarterly and has a discussion listserv.  This idea has recently been shared with the Illinois Heartland Library System in hopes of involving libraries in the southern part of the state in this discussion.

There is also a national group of librarians who are passionately interested in serving people living with dementia and their care partners.  The Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) is a part of the American Library Association.

As Illinois communities begin the process of becoming dementia friendly, an invitation to the local library to participate would be of benefit to all.  In addition to contacting the library director, ask to talk with the Outreach Librarian, who may already be involved in reaching out to this too often forgotten population.

Submitted by Mary Beth Riedner, Chair, Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group/American Library Association

Dementia Friendly America Illinois Workshop

The Dementia Friendly America Illinois Workshop will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Springfield, Illinois.  This workshop is part of the process to have the State of Illinois added to the Dementia Friendly America network.

This statewide event that convenes experts and leaders from diverse community sectors throughout Illinois who support the development of dementia friendly communities.

Brief Schedule:

  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • 10:00 a.m. – Workshop begins
  • 11:55 – 12:40 – Box Lunch
  • 3:00 p.m. – Workshop concludes


St. John’s Hospital’s Prairie Heart Institute

Dove Conference Center, 619 E. Mason, Springfield



For further information, please contact ICRN at

You can also find additional community resources at Dementia Friendly America at

Detailed Agenda:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

To ensure that those who are living with dementia are guiding and shaping our work, we will follow these guidelines:

·         Those who self-identify as living with dementia will be providing perspectives and reactions throughout our agenda

·         Those who self-identify as living with dementia will be asked to speak first and have first option for speaking when sharing comments

·         We will take multiple breaks and adjust meeting conditions as needed to foster meaningful participation of those living with dementia

  9:30 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast  
10:00 AM




Welcome and Introductions

·         Welcome & Introductions

Video: Dementia Friends

·         Opening Remarks from DFA co-partners


National Association of Area Agencies on Aging


Raj Shah


Karen Messer

Meredith Eisenhart


10:20 AM Panel: Personal Perspective – What is the current experience for individuals & families?  
10:30 AM Illinois Dementia Friendly Landscape

·         Illinois Cognitive Resource Network

·         Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan

·         State Plan on Aging


Raj Shah

Jennifer Martin

Betsy Creamer

11:00 AM Overview of Dementia Friendly America

·         Dementia Friendly America toolkit overview & Dementia Friends

·         Panel: Dementia friendly efforts currently underway in Illinois

–          IL State Senator Linda Bush (D-31st District)

–          Helen Kwan, Government Relations Consultant, Helen Kwan and Associates

–          Melvin Thompson, Executive Director, Endeleo Institute


Olivia Mastry



Greg Kyrouac


11:45 AM Panel: Personal Perspective – What is needed to provide better support to individuals & families?  
12:40 PM


ALL PARTICIPANTS:  Deep Dive for Moving Forward:  


What is needed in our community so that we can better support individuals with dementia and their care partners?

Raj Shah

Darby Morhardt

Greg Kyrouac

Susan Frick

1:10 PM Large Group Debrief All
1:40 PM Panel: Personal Perspective – How can individuals & families be involved in developing solutions?  
1:50 PM ALL PARTICIPANTS:  Next Steps:


How best can we ensure we have the active role of persons with dementia and their care partners involved in planning?

Raj Shah

Darby Morhardt

Greg Kyrouac

Susan Frick


2:20 PM Large Group Debrief All
2:40 PM Wrap Up & Closing

·         Immediate next steps & accountabilities


Raj Shah



Become a Dementia Friend

Dementia Friendly America, a national collaborative just launched the Dementia Friends program in the United States. Dementia Friends is a global initiative that began in the United Kingdom and aims to empower and educate individuals about dementia.

Dementia Friends is designed to raise awareness about dementia and educate individuals and communities about how they can best support and interact with people living with dementia.

The program accomplishes this via an online training that includes a series of short videos and encourages people to commit to take action. A brief introductory video about the aim of the program is available.

Become a Dementia Friend by going to From there you can become a Dementia Friend by committing to an activity that will help someone in your community with dementia.

PBS Documentary – Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts airs on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 @ 9:00 p.m. CENTRAL time.

Dementia Friendly America and Dementia Friends USA is partnering with PBS as they launch a documentary called Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts.

The 60-minute documentary airs on Wednesday, January 25th at 9:00 p.m. Central Time. Viewers will be guided to a website that provides them with links that enable them to become a Dementia Friend or start a dementia friendly community, among other things.

Watch clips of the documentary here.

Follow social media conversations at #EveryMinuteCountsPBS

Engagement, promotion & social media tools can be found at