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Health Science Students Learn the CARES Approach

Students in the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Adult Education Practical Nursing and Clinical Medical Assisting Programs participated in a two-day Alzheimer’s Association and HealthCare InteractiveÒ Training Program in Brentwood. Community Education Manager Robert Schuster, M.S.Ed., and Community Educator Angie Avila provided the training. Upon completion of the training program, the students took a test to receive a CARESÒ Dementia Basics™ 4-Hour Online Training Program Certificate of Completion.

 Group picture of students, some with certificates.  group shot of students in stairwell, some with certificates.  Three students taking the test on computers.

The CARESÒ Approach is a person-centered approach for dementia caregivers. Students learned that it’s important to meet the needs of the person by Connecting with the person, Assessing their Behavior, Responding appropriately, Evaluating what works, and Sharing what worked with others.

Two students studying to by LPNs. They finished taking the test for certficate of completion.  

Kayla Pilch, from Lake Grove, is graduating this year and will go on to take the New York State Licensing Examination to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). She thought the training was extremely beneficial. “The training included modules, case scenarios, videos, and skills methodology,” she said. The students learned how to approach a person, how to communicate with someone who is verbal and non-verbal, and what to look for when they see repetitive movements, like foot or hand tapping. They learned how to offer compassionate care and how to empathize with a person who has dementia.

Empathy involves accepting another person, helping them feel understood and not alone, and as caregivers in the health sciences field, the students learned how to respond to a person with dementia whose world is confusing, fragmented, and sometimes frightening.

 Picture taken from back of room. Students testing.  Male student taking test on computer.

“With an increase in the aging population and the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s,” said Program Administrator Debra Epilone, “it is important for us to include trainings like this in our curriculum. Our students now have additional skills they can apply as they move forward in their career in the field of health sciences.”