The Penn Memory Center’s Empowering Caregivers series focuses on helping caregivers with the emotional, physical, and logistical challenges they face tending to their loved ones. The series gives caregivers access to area experts who present on a variety of intensive topics from symptom management to end-of-life care.
Below are recordings of our last four workshops. If you would like to sign up for future Empowering Caregivers Workshops, please click here.
Dawn Mechanic-Hamilton discusses challenges with thinking that impact daily functioning and how to support areas of cognitive change. Dawn also explains how keeping our minds engaged can help support cognition and combat boredom, apathy, and agitation.
- Risk factors for dementia (5:15)
- Compensatory strategies (6:57)
- Training and engagement strategies (41:09)
- Research (49:38)
- How to approach habit changes (56:07)
Dawn Mechanic-Hamilton, PhD, ABPP/CN, joined the Penn Memory Center in 2012. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and director of Cognitive Fitness Programs and Neuropsychological Services at the Penn Memory Center. Dr. Mechanic-Hamilton’s research and clinical work focuses on neuropsychological assessment and cognitive and behavioral intervention in patients with cognitive impairment.
Susie Touchinsky outlines current research and indicators for guiding decision-making around driving safety as well as information about Pennsylvania and New Jersey state licensing and reporting laws. Susie also shares information about driving evaluations: how and when is one recommended? What happens during the evaluation process? What should you ask your evaluator before scheduling?
- Driving evaluations (6:21)
- When to get evaluated (22:46)
- Research (46:04)
- General warning signs (53:15)
Susan Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS is an occupational therapist and certified driver rehabilitation specialist who has achieved her Specialty Certification in Driving and Community Mobility from the American Occupational Therapy Association. Susie offers extensive clinical and professional knowledge with over 20 years of experience as an OT & driver rehabilitation specialist.
Hospice and palliative care are specialized types of medical care for people living with serious illnesses, such as cancer, dementia, or heart disease. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of illness. However, there are many myths and misconceptions about hospice and palliative care that limit access to this important service. Brianna Morgan pulls back the curtain and answers key questions about hospice and palliative care, such as when is the right time to start? Where is care provided? Who provides care? And who pays?
- What is palliative care? (11:20)
- What is hospice? (29:45)
- When is the right time for hospice? (41:10)
- Does hospice care hasten death? (52:05)
- Summary (56:59)
Brianna Morgan, PhD, CRNP, is a former PMC Clark Scholar and Gerontologic and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner with nursing experience in critical care, oncology, and cognitive neurology. Morgan’s doctoral work will improve strengths-based care for people living with mild cognitive impairment by describing inner strength.
Rachel Wiley explores common reasons why individuals living with dementia may resist bathing, and discusses strategies to reduce this challenge.
- What does resisting care look like? (12:39)
- Resisting bathing triggers (16:06)
- Case examples (27:03)
- Bathing strategies (1:26:49)
Rachel Wiley, MS, OTR/L, CDP, is an occupational therapist and the founder and owner of Day By Day Dementia Consulting and the Dementia Collaborative LLC. She has worked with individuals living with dementia in personal and professional contexts for more than 17 years.