NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Aging and Mental Health Education: A Focus on Alzheimer’s Disease

The NDSU Gerontology Program has developed this 3-unit program that discusses an overview of Alzheimer's and dementia, diagnosis, treatment, communication and behavioral changes common with the disease.

Unit One: A General Overview on Alzheimer’s Disease

Focus on defining different forms of dementia, new diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease, risk factors and symptoms, and stages of Alzheimer's disease.


At the conclusion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Define common forms and symptoms of dementia; 
  • Recognize the new Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic criteria and guidelines and contrast them to the previous diagnostic criteria; 
  • Explain what Alzheimer’s disease is;
  • Describe risk factors and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease; and 
  • Discuss the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Unit Two: Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

This unit emphasizes diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease with special focus on early diagnosis, assessment tools, and treatment options.


At the conclusion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Describe strategies for early recognition & assessment
  • Explain tools for early recognition & assessment
  • Identify strategies to diagnose Alzheimer's disease
  • Specify strategies to treat Alzheimer's disease

Unit Three: Communication and Behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease

Unit 3 focuses on communication and behavioral changes that are common with individuals with Alzheimer's, discusses causes and triggers of behavioral issues, and identifies treatments and solutions for dealing with behavior changes.


At the conclusion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Recognize the communication & behavioral changes associated with the Alzheimer’s disease stages
  • Define common communication changes & challenges
  • Describe communication strategies that enhance communication with individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease
  • Discuss common behavioral changes associated with the progression of the disease
  • Explain common causes & triggers of behavioral issues
  • Identify responding  solutions & tips
  • Describe treatments associated with behavior changes


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North Dakota State University Distance and Continuing Education has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4195. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. North Dakota State University Distance and Continuing Education is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.