Aging and Dementia: Myths, Realities and Best Practices

Jointly Presented by National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals & National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has partnered with the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices to produce a series of webinars designed specifically designed to understand the DSPs role, impact, influence, allegiance and skills as agents of comfort, security, reassurance, agency, engagement and to the extent possible independence.  

About National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices : The ‘NTG’ is a coalition charged with ensuring that the interests of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias – as well as their families and friends – are taken into account as part of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.The coalition produces materials related to dementia, including practice guidelines, screening tools, education and training curricula and workshops, agency and family-based information, and other technical materials – as well as providing technical assistance. The NTG is affiliated with the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and other partners, such as various university centers and the Gerontology Division of the AAIDD.  Read more

Goals for the Aging Series

For Direct Support Professionals and organizations with individuals in the aging population, this series will provide the opprotunity to provide:

  • Appreciate the trajectory of aging. Distinguish between the “myths” and “realities.”
  • Understand the normal aspects of aging and the disorders associated with the pathology of aging
  • Anticipate the changing functional status of individuals aging with ID/DD.
  • Distinguish the difference between “dementia” and Alzheimer’s disease; appreciate the disease state in individuals with ID/DD and Down syndrome in particular. Understand the disease process and its impact on organ systems including behaviors.
  • Begin to understand the role of communication, environment, pharmaceutical and non- pharmaceutical treatment, social reinforcement, empathy, benchmarks of critical change, the “need to know, support and celebrate” the individual and to recount his/her life as a modality for comfort and reassurance.
  • To understand the DSPs role, impact, influence, allegiance and skills as agents of comfort, security, reassurance, agency, engagement and to the extent possible independence.
  • To be realistic in expectations, understand the inevitability of aging and dementia and provide comfort, counseling, positivity and appropriate grieving to the individual with dementia, their peers, their families, direct support professionals and themselves. To help prepare DSPs in dealing and confronting these changes in their own families and their own lives.

Webinars Dates:

Thursday, February 21st 2-3 PM EST: Introduction to Aging & Dementia: Understanding and Engaging the Life Story with Dr. Lucy Esralew REGISTER HERE

Thursday, Thursday, March 7th 2-3 PM EST:  Aging: Myths and Realities with Dr. Kathleen Bishop REGISTER HERE

Thursday, April 11th 2-3 PM EST: Dementia 101 – With Dr. Seth Keller REGISTER HERE 

Thursday, May 9th 2-3 PM EST:  Making A Meaningful Day for a Person with Dementia with Kathy Service, RN and Rita Arnett DSP – III Aging Specialist REGISTER HERE

Thursday, June 6th 2-3 PM EST: Grief and Loss for DSPs – Dr. Rick Rader REGISTER HERE

Learn About Our Presenters

Dr. Rick Rader

Dr. Rick Rader

Director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at Orange Grove

Dr. Rader is the Director of the Habilitation Center at Orange Grove Center (Chattanooga, Tenn) where for the last 24 years he has been responsible for the creation, implementation and evaluation of novel programs in health care delivery for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  He is the VP for Public Policy and Advocacy at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and serves as the Editor in chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine.  Dr. Rader is the Senior Global Adviser for Inclusive Health Innovation at Special Olympics International. He is also the Medical Consultant to the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Dr. Rader is a member of the Steering Committee at the National Task Group for Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.
Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN

Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN

Steering Committee, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices

Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) since 1976 (as RN) and later from 1979 (as nurse practitioner), both in institutional and community settings with the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services until retirement in 2/2016. Over those years, in addition to hands-on clinical support, she has worked together with and presented to people with ID and their families and direct support professionals.  In 1995, she was the co-developer and coordinator of a series of presentations on dementia and people with ID in Western Massachusetts. Kathy has served on advisory boards nationally and internationally, presented at domestic and foreign conferences, and written articles, book chapters and educational modules on topics of aging, dementia, loss and grief and nursing support of people with I/DD. She has served on the Steering Committee of the National Task Group on Dementia and Intellectual Disabilities since its inception and participated in the NTG’s curriculum development.  She is a Family Support Volunteer/Dementia Ambassador through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Dr. Kathy Bishop

Dr. Kathy Bishop

Co-Chair, National Task Group on T Curriculum

Kathleen M. Bishop, PhD. has 40+ years of experience in the developmental disabilities field and a Gerontologist with a specialty in aging with IDD. She is retired from the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine and Dentistry and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Bishop is co-chair of the NTG Group T curriculum committee and is Lead Trainer for the 3-day NTG Dementia Capable Care for Adults with ID and Dementia.
Seth M. Keller, MD

Seth M. Keller, MD

Co-Chair, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices

Seth M. Keller, MD, a board certified neurologist in private practice with Advocare Neurology of South Jersey.  specializes in the evaluation and care of adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) with neurologic complications. He cares for individuals with I/DD both in the community as well in New Jersey’s ICF/DD centers. Dr Keller is on the Executive Board of the Arc of Burlington County as well as on the board for The Arc of New Jersey Mainstreaming Medical Care Board. Dr Keller is the Past President of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and is the co-chair of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG).  Dr Keller is also the director of the Adults with I/DD Special Interest Group in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He is actively involved in national and international I/DD health education as a speaker and webinar and workshop participant. Raised in Philadelphia, PA, Keller received his bachelor’s degree from Temple University, earned his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in 1989, and completed his neurology internship and residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He also served as a Navy neurologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.
Rita Arnett, DSP III

Rita Arnett, DSP III

DSP III, Penn-Mar Human Services

Rita Arnett has been a DSP since 1984. She currently is a Residential Supervisor and Learning Consultant at Penn-Mar Human Services and has worked at the agency over 20 years. Rita became the NADSP’s first DSP III Specialist in Aging in 2018. Currently, she is a Regional Trainer for the National Task Group for Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices with 2 years training experience using the NTG curriculum classes on Dementia/Alzheimer’s .

Dr. Lucille Esralew

Dr. Lucille Esralew

Behavior Psychologist and Autism Clinical Specialist at Redwood Coast Regional Center

Dr. Lucille Esralew received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University in 1999. She is a NJ licensed Psychologist (2002), certified Clinical Neuropsychologist from Fielding Graduate University (2006), a certified dementia practitioner and certified clinician from the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD). Dr. Esralew currently works as the Behavior Psychologist and Autism Clinical Specialist at Redwood Coast Regional Center in northern California. She worked for Trinitas Regional Medical Center for 20 years serving as Clinical Administrator for two statewide specialty mental health and outreach programs- CARES and S-COPE. She was instrumental in the formation of the Integrated Service Delivery Team (ISDT, 1997), Statewide Clinical Consultation and Training (SCCAT, 2000), the 2D specialized unit (2003), Crisis Assessment Response and Enhanced Services (CARES, 2015). She developed the Statewide Clinical Outreach Program for the Elderly (S-COPE, 2011) which is a crisis response team for older adults in nursing facilities. Dr. Esralew initiated complex case review of individuals with intellectual and developmental disability and dementia through video-conferenced based review as part of her responsibilities as an administrator for Trinitas’s Extension for Community HealthCare Options (ECHO) which is affiliated with the University of New Mexico. She has been particularly interested in building capacity for mental health and behavioral health services for individuals with complex needs and increasing the caregiving resources of families and staff who serve individuals who are challenged by disabilities and co-occurring mental health challenges.