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Students at IPE dementia event.

MCPHS Students Participate in Interprofessional Dementia Sensitivity Training

  • Students from MCPHS’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs recently participated in a two-part interactive Dementia Sensitivity Training designed to educate students on how to compassionately interact with patients with dementia, as well as to offer a glimpse into the daily physical and cognitive struggles that arise from living with dementia. This interprofessional activity was facilitated by Senior Living Residences (SLR), a Massachusetts-based assisted living management firm.

    During the first portion of the event, called “Understanding Dementia in the Real World,” students listened to a presentation on what dementia is and participated in a discussion on how to best communicate with those who have it. In the second half of the event, students were asked to wear sensory-limiting devices while performing daily tasks as part of the “Dementia Experience” simulation. In addition to demonstrating what life with dementia is like, the simulation let students experience first-hand how factors such as isolation can create additional challenges for this population.

    Throughout the event, students practiced actively listening, using appropriate, respectful language in difficult situations or crucial conversations, and engaging with other healthcare providers using a patient-centered and population-focused approach. They left the Dementia Sensitivity Training better equipped to empathetically problem-solve the scenarios they may encounter when interacting with someone who has dementia.