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So what am I supposed to do? Working with non-communicative patients/families

Title: So what am I supposed to do? Working with non-communicative patients/families with Sara Wright 

CE/CME Offered:

No CE/CME Credit Available

Member Price:  $105.00
Non-Member Price:  $210.00

Payment Options:

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Length: 1.0 hour

This session was recorded at NHPCO’s Volunteer Leadership Virtual Conference (VLVC) July 30 2012

For hospice volunteers as well as staff, the communication essential to making a connection can seem difficult, if not impossible, when the patient has a dementia disease.  Understanding the diseases which lead to cognitive impairment is important, but understanding the key to communication is essential.  This session will provide participants with skills to communicate differently when there is dementia – to be ‘with patients in the moment’, to use past memories to spark new conversation and to understand even when conversation is no longer possible.


  • Utilize skills learned to communicate in ways which allow the patient to feel supported and have a role in his/her care coordination
  • Describe the need to validate the patient in his/her reality and provide a caring environment for the patient to express him/herself
  • Identify ways which the patient with a dementia disease may be trying to communicate pain, discomfort or other care needs, as well as methods to address the needs in a way which is comforting to the patient

Sara Wright, MSN, GNP-BC, ACHPN, CDP

As an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care NP, Sara has worked for Hospice and Community Care (founded as Hospice of Lancaster County) for over six years, focusing on elders and their caregivers and specifically those with a diagnosis of dementia that are served through the palliative care consultancy and hospice services provided by the organization. Over her 27 year professional career as a board-certified Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner, she has held a variety of both clinical and administrative positions.  She was a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Director of Nursing of a 197-bed skilled nursing facility. For 10 years, she served as a GNP consultant for the Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative, a state-wide grant program administered through Kendal® Outreach LLC/The Kendal® Corporation that assisted long term care facilities to reduce and eliminate the use of physical restraints, build fall management programs and develop behavioral and psychotropic medication management and monitoring processes. 

Sara has presented sessions both locally and nationally to all levels of health care providers including physicians and medical residents, in addition to providing educational programs to family caregivers on a variety of topics related to geriatrics and care issues. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. An individualized, person-centered approach is a core tenet to her clinical practice and educational sessions.


Planners: Barbara L. Bouton, MA, FT, and Jennifer Kennedy, MA, BSN, RN, have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Faculty: Sara Wright has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Completion: You will have access to this course for 90 days from the date of purchase.
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