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Best Practice Considerations for Person-Centered Dementia Care

Did you know? One best practice approach for someone with dementia is person-centered dementia care, which prioritizes the individuals with dementia and their caregivers, placing them at the heart of care delivery. This method emphasizes a holistic perspective, aiming to maintain their overall well-being and enhance their quality of life.

Listen to a recast episode that delves into a recent panel discussion moderated by Susan LaGrange, RN, BSN, NHA, CDONA™, FACDONA, CIMT, IP-BC™, Chief Nursing Officer at Pathway Health. During this panel, a group of aging services professionals shares their valuable insights into implementing person-centered dementia care practices.


  • Heather McKay, PhD, OTR/L, Consulting Occupational Therapist and Dementia Care Specialist, Co-Creator of DementiaWise® - Partnerships for Health
  • Colleen Toebe, MSN, CWCN, RAC-MTA, RAC-MT, Director of Consulting Services - Pathway Health
  • Stephanie Wierzbicka, Strategic Program Manager, Co-Creator of DementiaWise® - ComForCare Franchise Systems, LLC

Click to listen to this episode:

About Susan LaGrange – Moderator:
As Chief Nursing Officer, her primary responsibilities include planning and implementing critical industry-leading clinical programs and assisting our clients toward regulatory compliance, best practices, and cutting-edge changes in the industry. Sue has 30 years of long-term care management experience, which includes Director of Nursing Services and Consultant. She is a past president of the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council. Sue has clinical experience in assisting facilities in resident care management, regulatory compliance, infection control and overall management of nursing operations. Sue is a nationally recognized infection control professional and is Board Certified in Infection Control. Sue brings a unique perspective to the Pathway Health leadership team, being a licensed nursing home administrator with extensive nursing experience and many years as a national speaker at long-term care conferences.

About Heather McKay: 
Dr. Heather McKay is an occupational therapist, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Appalachian State University, and among the country’s leading experts in dementia care and caregiver education. As the founder of Partnerships for Health, a dementia care consulting company based in North Carolina, Dr. McKay’s experience is remarkable for her breadth of clinical work and teaching with blended dementia care teams nationwide. She has collaborated to enhance dementia care training for healthcare professionals, paraprofessionals, and informal caregivers in hospitals, long-term care, non-medical home care, home health, hospice, and community-based programs. In her research with inter-professional partners, Dr. McKay focuses on creating and testing theory-driven, team-centered interventions that improve life for people living with the disease and their myriad caregivers-- throughout the progression of the disease across various care environments. Some of her latest work in dementia workforce development was recently published in The Gerontologist and occupational therapy journals in the US, Canada, and Scandinavia.

About Colleen Toebe:
Colleen Toebe is the Director of Consulting Services for Pathway Health. She is a licensed registered nurse with a Master’s in Nursing degree and has received numerous certifications, including Gerontological Nurse, Certified Dementia Trainer, Certified Wound Care Nurse, Certified Eden Alternative Trainer, and has a Six Sigma Green Belt in Health Care. Colleen is also an MDS and Medicare Master Trainer for the American Association of Post Acute Care Nursing, INTERACT Certified Trainer, Nursing Assistant Instructor, and ICD-10 Audit Nursing Instructor. In her role, Colleen oversees  Pathway Health’s education division while providing support and direction to our consulting team. She has extensive clinical experience across the healthcare continuum. Colleen is a licensed registered nurse with a Master’s in Nursing degree. She has received numerous certifications. Colleen’s passion is to promote excellence in long-term care through education, mentoring, and ongoing quality improvement.

About Stephanie Wierzbicka:
Stephanie Wierzbicka, Manager, Strategic Health Care Programs, has been employed with ComForCare Franchise Systems, LLC, an in-home care agency with 275 locations in US and Canada, for 19 years. She is responsible for developing and managing various company programs aimed at improving client care and health-related outcomes. Numerous in-person visits to facilities, hospitals and seniors living in their home has allowed her to understand and experience the unique needs of professionals and clients firsthand and, as a result, has the unique opportunity to develop programs that can help older adults and their families live their best life possible.

Episode Notes:

  • Explore the fundamentals of dementia
  • Essential elements of the person-centered care approach in dementia care
  • The significance of prioritizing person-centered dementia care
  • Tactics and materials to promote person-centered dementia care across various settings
  • A case study illustrating exemplary practices: How ComForCare, through its pioneering training program DementiaWise®, is enhancing person-centered care for dementia clients in home settings, yielding positive outcomes for clients, families, and care teams
  • Effective strategies and resources to incorporate into dementia caregiving programs aimed at bolstering person-centered care and enhancing the lives of individuals with dementia and their caregivers

Episode Resources:

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