Dementia Care Specialist (DCS) Curriculum 2021

Dementia Care Specialist (DCS) Curriculum 2021

With the support of The John A. Hartford Foundation and GAPNA, the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care program developed The Dementia Care Specialist (DCS) Curriculum. This 22-module course and multi-session Clinical Skill Training components provide a basic knowledge base for Advanced Practice Nurses who are looking to advance their expertise in caring for patients with dementia. 

The Fundamentals of Dementia Care include Units A through F.

Note: The term DCM (Dementia Care Manager) has been reformatted to the term DCS (Dementia Care Specialist).

The overall goal of this course is to provide Advanced Practice Nurses with the knowledge necessary to provide high-quality dementia care management.

Standard: $59.00
Members: $39.00


This unit provides an overview of Alzheimer’s and related dementias and introduces key components to the evaluation and management of patients with dementia.

Activities Included:

Module 1: What is Dementia?

Module 2: Current Approaches to the Diagnosis of Dementia

Module 3: Medication Treatment of Dementia and its Complications

Module 4: Behavioral Treatment of Complications of Dementia

Module 5: Safety, Function, and Autonomy

Unit A CNE Evaluation - 2.25 contact hours

This unit describes the relationship between specialized dementia care and primary care as well as partnerships between health systems and community based organizations to best manage dementia patients.

Activities Included:

Module 6: Co-Management of Dementia

Module 7: Working with Community-Based Resources

Unit B CNE Evaluation - 0.75 contact hours

This unit addresses the use of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care software and applying a goal oriented approach to dementia care.

Activities Included:

Module 8: Using Dementia Care Software

Module 9: Goal Setting

Unit C CNE Evaluation - 1.25 contact hours

This unit reviews each step of performing an initial assessment with patients and caregivers.

Activities Included:

Module 10: Interpreting the Completed Pre-Visit Paperwork

Module 11: Conducting the Initial Visit with the Patient/Caregiver

Module 12: Drafting and Revising the Care Plan

Unit D CNE Evaluation - 1.00 contact hour

This unit describes ongoing dementia care after the initial assessment.

Activities Included:

Module 13: Following-up: Telephone, Electronically, and In Person

Module 14: Urgencies and Emergencies

Module 15: Managing Common Comorbidities (Insomnia, Depression, Constipation)

Module 16: Choosing the Best Living Situation

Module 17: Advance Directives and Ethical Issues

Module 18: Insurance, Financial and Legal issues

Module 19: Cultural, Ethnic, and Diversity Considerations

Unit E CNE Evaluation - 2.75 contact hours

This unit reviews resources and opportunities to assist caregivers with management of stress and burnout.

Activities Included:

Module 20: Caregiver Stress, Depression and Burnout

Module 21: Effective Caregiver Support Programs

Module 22: Community-based Caregiver Training Programs/Education

Unit F CNE Evaluation - 0.50 contact hours

This session focuses on training APNs as dementia care specialists (DCS) based on the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program model. Methods include role-playing utilizing evidence-based tools required to perform a comprehensive cognitive assessment. These validated tools will help support a clinical understanding of person-centered care including caregiver needs to formulate a comprehensive dementia care plan.

Activities Included:

Dementia Care Specialist Clinical Skills Training

Dementia Care Specialist Clinical Skills Training CNE Evaluation - 6.50 contact hours

Complete this evaluation to print a transcript for the curriculum.

Activities Included:

Final Transcript - Entire Curriculum - 15.00 contact hours

Print a certificate of completion. 

Activities Included:

Certificate of Completion