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WVU, Alzheimer’s Association start online dementia care training

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A new online course aims at teaching basic skills for caring with someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia.

West Virginia University Continuing & Professional Education has partnered with the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association to offer the Dementia Care Training Program. The courses are offered completely online for adult learners starting August 5.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is the term for a set of symptoms that include memory loss, behavioral changes and personality changes that interfere with normal daily activities.

Program participants will learn about communication, nutrition, safety, personal care and the behaviors of individuals who have dementia. Both home caregivers and health care workers will learn from the program, according to information from the Alzheimer's Association.

"As the number of individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia continues to grow, so does the demand on the field of dementia care," Alzheimer's Association, West Virginia Chapter Executive Director Laurel Kirksey said in a news release. "It is critical that we are building dementia-capable care systems, including individuals highly skilled in providing in-home and personal care for individuals with this devastating disease."

WVU Continuing & Professional Education is a part of WVU Academic Innovation, formerly known as Extended Learning. It offers more than 200 classes online and a handful in the classroom setting. C&PE is geared toward adult learners who want to further their professional and personal skills.