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Overview of Memory and Cognition Changes with Aging

presented by Rob Winningham

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Financial: Rob Winningham has a financial relationship with Scientific Advisor for Linked Senior, Speaker/Teacher for Activity Connection, Speaker and content developer for Masterpiece Living, and Partner with Northwest Rehab & Wellness who products and services are mentioned in this course. Rob Winningham receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Rob Winningham has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact support@medbridgeed.com. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Memory ability is determined by a multitude of factors, many of which are under our control. There are a number of problems that need to be addressed, including what factors can be manipulated, which interventions will be effective and for whom, all in an effort to maximize cognitive ability and therapeutic outcomes for all clients. We will discuss the Reserve Hypothesis, explanations as to why people who are more cognitively engaged have better cognitive ability, and whether we can intervene and help people improve their cognitive abilities. Dosing and prognoses, as a function of the severity of cognitive impairment, will also be addressed. This course is the first of a five-part series.

Meet Your Instructor

Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Dr. Rob Winningham has 25 years of experience researching human memory and has largely focused on older adults and ways to enhance their mental functioning and quality of life. He creates brain stimulation activities for over 10,000 retirement communities and rehabilitation facilities as a part of Dr. Rob’s Cranium Crunches on activityconnection.com and helps create…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Factors Affecting Cognitive Abilities in Older Adulthood

Recent research has shown us that many factors affect our cognitive abilities and chance of developing dementia in older adulthood. It is important to understand these factors and possible causal mechanisms in order to develop interventions, suggest lifestyle changes, and consider the etiology of cognitive impairment.

2. Reserve Hypothesis: A Possible Explanation for Use It Or Lose It Findings

Most people have heard of the Use It Or Lose It Theory, but that idea is rarely discussed in the scientific literature. In this chapter, we will discuss a compatible idea known as the Reserve Hypothesis. The Reserve Hypothesis is a superior idea because it provides an explanation for data supporting Use It Or Lose It. These are important concepts as they help provide a foundation to understand the basis of cognitive rehabilitation and the etiology and course of most types of cognitive impairment.

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3. Dementia Prevalence vs. Incidence

Recent research has shown that while the incidence of dementia is increasing in Western Europe and North America, the prevalence is actually plummeting. Appreciating these ideas and their causes leads to a much more nuanced understanding of the underlying causes of dementia and interventions that could decrease symptoms of cognitive impairment.

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4. The Importance of Executive Functioning in Cognitive Rehabilitation Estimated Length

An understanding of how executive functioning affects cognitive abilities and mobility. Controlling unwanted behaviors is critical, especially for people who work with cognitively impaired individuals. We will discuss executive functioning so therapists and other professionals can maximize the efficacy of therapeutic outcomes.

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More Courses in this Series

Neuropsychology of Aging

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Neuropsychology of Aging

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
How do we know what the underlying neurological causes of cognitive impairment (or unwanted behaviors) are? How do we know when a patient is capable of learning a new compensatory strategy or motor skill? In this course, we will discuss how and why cognitive abilities change, with normal aging and various types of dementia. How executive functioning (e.g., attention, inhibition, awareness) is related to one’s ability to learn, remember, and control his/her behavior is explored. Strategies for therapists and others to modify their interventions to maximize cognitive ability and therapeutic outcomes will be presented. This course is the second of a five-part series.

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Practical Strategies for Working with Cognitively Impaired Individuals

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Practical Strategies for Working with Cognitively Impaired Individuals

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Many times cognitively impaired patients are unable to learn basic ideas and compensatory strategies, which impedes progress in learning new motor behaviors and reduces the ultimate efficacy of therapy. In this course, we will discuss many strategies and interventions designed to enhance some patients’ abilities to encode new declarative memories. We will discuss short-term strategies that can be used without cognitive rehabilitation, and then we will discuss longer-term interventions. We will also work to overcome the possible challenge of creating interventions that yield improvements that generalize beyond the specific task or exercise done in the clinic. This course is the third of a five-part series.

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Cognitive Rehab Strategies: Home Exercises, Individual & Group Therapy

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Cognitive Rehab Strategies: Home Exercises, Individual & Group Therapy

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
There is increasing evidence supporting the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation interventions and cognitive stimulation programming. In this course, we will discuss some of that evidence and then explore a wide range of materials that can be used by therapists, caregivers, and others. It is important to know which types of exercises will exercise which cognitive abilities and parts of the brain, so as to target areas that need to be improved. Best practices will also be discussed to give attendees a wide range of skills and knowledge related to cognitive rehabilitation. This course is the fourth of a five-part series.

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Responding to Unwanted Behaviors & Motivating Clients in Therapy

Presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Responding to Unwanted Behaviors & Motivating Clients in Therapy

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Motivation is possibly the best predictor of therapeutic success among older adults with or without cognitive impairment. However, most therapists and practitioners have very little training in the psychology of motivation and how to maximize it. In this course, we will explore factors that affect motivation, including depression. Theories of motivation that can be used to design many interventions to maximize patient motivation for and engagement in the therapeutic process are discussed. Caregivers and medical professionals need as many tools as possible when it comes to reducing unwanted behaviors commonly seen in people who have dementia. We will discuss how memory ability and behavior affect the level of care needed and how to manage behavioral challenges to maximize independence and safety. Using the knowledge of these cognitive and behavioral changes, many techniques will be offered for preventing and responding to emotional outbursts and behavioral problems (e.g., redirection, knowing the person, music therapy and other more). This course is the fifth of a five-part series.

View full course details