Celebrating and Supporting Staff Education

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A Message from our Director of Education:

The Importance of Dementia Education

Caring for individuals with dementia requires knowledge, specialized skills, and empathy. As dementia is on the rise and the demand for caregivers specially trained to care for individuals living with dementia increases, dementia education is essential.

Dementia education can reduce stigma and change staff attitudes. By better understanding dementia, we can lessen misconceptions and stigmas surrounding it that often result in social isolation, discrimination, infantilization, and neglect.

Dementia education can enhance clinical outcomes and the quality of life for the person with dementia by helping caregivers communicate better, utilize empathetic person-centered care techniques, and prevent dementia behaviors while offering meaningful and purposeful engagement opportunities.  

In addition, caregivers who undergo dementia education often report feeling lower stress and burnout and greater satisfaction with their job. When we know what we need to do and have the tools (i.e., competency, knowledge, and skills), we can do a better job and are less stressed.  

Ultimately, dementia education benefits not only the person with dementia but also their family members, the staff, and the organization.  

Denise Scruggs

Director of Education, NCCDP

Spotlight On: Robin Walters

LPN, CDP, CADDCT, CMDCP, CMDCPT, APC, CPCHCP Owner and CEO Dementia Knowledge Network

With over two decades of dedicated service in the long-term care industry, Robin Walters brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Dementia Knowledge Network LLC. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, her hands-on experience has been the foundation of her deep understanding of dementia care. 

Robin’s commitment to excellence is evident in her extensive certifications: she is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer, and a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional. Moreover, she holds the distinction of being a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional Trainer, an Activity Professional Certified, and a Certified Personal Care and Home Care Professional.

In her previous roles, Robin honed her skills in clinical consulting, specializing in memory care compliance. Her focus on regulatory compliance programs and survey turnarounds has made her a sought-after expert in the field. Beyond her consulting work, Robin has a passion for education. She has facilitated numerous training sessions, both online and in-person, ensuring that caregivers and professionals alike have access to the latest knowledge and best practices in dementia care. As a motivational educational speaker, Robin inspires her audience, emphasizing the importance of compassionate and informed care.


At Dementia Knowledge Network, Robin’s vision is clear: to provide a comprehensive platform where expertise meets empathy, ensuring that every individual touched by dementia receives the best care possible. We here at NCCDP are thrilled to feature Robin and her work. Her passion for teaching and educating make her a wonderful teacher and trainer!

“My name is Robin Walters, the heart behind Dementia Knowledge Network LLC. With over two decades in the long-term care industry, my recent venture into establishing my own business a few months ago marks a significant milestone in my journey. This step was fueled by a steadfast commitment to focus on what I believe is the cornerstone of quality dementia care: education for caregivers and professionals.

Holding esteemed certifications like Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT), Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional (CMDCP), Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional Trainer (CMDCPT) and Certified Personal Care and Home Care Professional (CPCHCP), obtained from NCCDP and ICCDP, my path has always been guided by a passion for enhancing care through knowledge and empathy. Launching Dementia Knowledge Network LLC was a step towards realizing my vision of a world where every caregiver and professional is empowered with the knowledge and compassion needed for exceptional dementia care.


Training in dementia care is vital. It goes beyond teaching techniques; it is about instilling a sense of understanding and compassion in professionals and caregivers. My role in conducting these training sessions is more than a profession: it is a calling. I am driven by the transformative impact that education has on the quality of care provided to people living with dementia.

Education in dementia care is not just a professional requirement; it is a lifeline that connects caregivers and professionals to the very souls of the persons living with dementia that we serve. The right training transforms the entire landscape of care, equipping caregivers with practical skills and emotional connections to navigate the complex world of dementia. For professionals, ongoing education is key to staying abreast of the latest care strategies and research, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and compassionate care.

Seeing the positive changes in professionals and caregivers following my seminars is what fuels my passion. It is incredibly rewarding to witness their growth and the subsequent improvements in the lives of those they care for. This is why I teach; to make a real difference, to bring about a change that goes beyond the classroom and into the hands and hearts of those providing care.

NCCDP Staff Education Week in February is a testament to the importance of ongoing learning in our field. It is a dedicated time for professionals to engage deeply with the educational content, enhancing their skills and understanding. As a staunch advocate for continuous education, I wholeheartedly support and value the certifications offered by NCCDP and ICCDP. As I reflect on all the certifications that I have obtained from NCCDP and ICCDP, I am reminded of the endless possibilities that education holds in transforming dementia care. Training isn’t just part of a job: it is a vital tool in our mission to enhance dignity and quality of life for those people living with dementia.”

Welcome, Rebecca Barker!

Please join us in welcoming Rebecca Barker as the New Community Relations Manager for NCCDP. Rebecca brings her passion for bettering the lives of those who are struggling in any way she can.

With a degree in Criminal Justice from Worcester State University, she has worked with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as an auditor to ensure inmates were placed in appropriate programs to reduce recidivism rates statewide. She also currently serves as an Ambassador for a Western MA Chamber of Commerce that is educating local businesses on dementia best practices with the goal of making their towns more dementia friendly.

Additionally, Rebecca brings a strong business development and networking background to NCCDP, having represented several major HR & payroll solutions providers in distributing their offerings to customers. In these roles she consulted with hundreds of organizations – including senior living and home care agencies – to help them reach their human resources goals. We’re excited for her to help spread NCCDP’s educational offerings to more professionals, making a positive difference in dementia care!

Announcements! Members, please be sure to login to your account to view all of our resources and staff in-services, which are available to you in your Member Profile!

Hear from our Group Administrators on Staff Education!

“Staff education is critical to providing the highest level of care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The truth of the matter is that it is such a misunderstood disease. Even individuals who have years of experience working with the population struggle to understand what is going on with their residents. Throughout my training, I have had individuals who have hit the ground running, so to speak, without much formal understanding of the disease process and how that impacts residents. Training and certification help to bridge that knowledge gap and allow caregivers a means to learn about the ins and outs of behaviors and behavior management, which in turn allows for a more enjoyable process for everyone!”

Kimberly Tanish
Messiah Lifeways

“As a company we choose to provide training to our associates which allows them to become Certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP) because it goes a long way in retaining great associates who provide a higher level of care to our residents – And because it’s the right thing to do and supports our company core values. As an individual who has worked in senior living for 36 years, I am fortunate to work for a company that invests in its main resource…people. CDP training and certification provides us “experts” in the community to coach, mentor and train others so that our work force is confident in the care they provide while feeling accomplished in their career path. Good dementia training helps us fulfill our greatest pledge to our residents and their families; to help individuals with memory loss live full and complete lives no matter how much dementia takes from them.”

Paula Harder, MA, ACC, CADDCT, CDP
Commonwealth Senior Living
Vice President of Resident Programs

Upcoming Seminars:

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care (ADDC) Seminar:

Tuesday, February 13: ONLINE- Central Time Click HERE To Register!

Tuesday, March 5: ONLINE- Central Time Click HERE To Register!

Wednesday, March 13: ONLINE- Eastern Time Click HERE To Register!

Tuesday, March 19: ONLINE- Mountain Time Click HERE To Register!

Thursday, March 21: ONLINE- Pacific Time Click HERE To Register!

Thursday, April 11: ONLINE- Eastern Time Click HERE To Register!

Tuesday, April 30: ONLINE- Central Time Click HERE To Register!


Montessori Concepts in Dementia Care Seminar:

Tuesday, April 9: ONLINE- Eastern Time Click HERE To Register!

Thursday, August 8: ONLINE- Eastern Time Click HERE To Register!

Tuesday, November 12: ONLINE- Eastern Time Click HERE To Register!

Upcoming Conferences Featuring NCCDP:

Tuesday 03/12 & Wednesday 03/13

The Beacon Institute hosts the Montessori Concept in Dementia Care Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional Trainer program.

Presented Virtually

Contact: Annmarie Gordon

Tuesday April 16th

National Association of Activity Professionals hosts the Montessori Concept in Dementia Care Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional Trainer program.

Presented In-Person Bloomington, MN

Interested in Certification?

Certified Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT)

As a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT®), you will be certified to present our comprehensive Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care (ADDC) curriculum to professionals across multiple industries within the geriatric healthcare industry.

Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP)

This certification is open to all healthcare professionals, front-line staff, clergy, and other medical professionals who work in and around the geriatric healthcare industry and have at least one full year of paid experience.

Healthcare Observances January 2024

  1. American Heart Month Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month
  2. Recreational Therapy Month
  3. February 14-21: NCCDP Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week
  4. February 16th- National Caregivers Day

Reimagining Dementia is a coalition dedicated to changing the stigma associated with Dementia.

They have a set of quarterly meetings scheduled on February 20, 21, and 22. Here’s a link with more information if needed.

Reimagining Dementia Events

February 9th, 2024 is National Pizza Day!

Here’s a cheesy joke from NCCDP to help you celebrate!

What do you call a fake pizza?

A pepperphony pizza.

About the Author

Picture of NCCDP Staff


The NCCDP staff consists of a full team of experts in dementia care & education.