A dementia-care training program aimed at educating providers who work in long-term care and community-based care settings — such as assisted living and memory care communities, nursing homes and home care agencies — now is available through the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Person-Centered Dementia Care Training Program with essentiALZ Exam is a three-hour, self-paced curriculum based on the association’s Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, the organization announced Wednesday. It includes an individual certification exam, and individuals who pass the exam are certified in essentiALZ for two years.

The program “is built around evidence-based practices that promote personalized, person-centered, quality dementia care,” said Beth Kallmyer, MSW, vice president of care and support at the Alzheimer’s Association. 

By age 80, 75% of people with Alzheimer’s dementia are admitted to a nursing home, according to the association’s data. Almost 42% of assisted living residents have an Alzheimer’s disease or dementia diagnosis, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

“High-quality dementia care training can lead to an improvement in communication between caregivers and individuals living with dementia, a reduction in dementia-related behaviors and an increase in job satisfaction and staff retention,” the association said.