Memory Care Center - Education

Juanita Angelini


Team Member Education

In the dedicated training center, dementia- specific education will be provided for Team Members in all departments. Classes offered throughout the year are designed to engage the learner in various topics relating to dementia and assist them in providing excellent care to Residents. Additionally, ongoing in-service trainings and onsite mentoring will be provided in an effort to prevent burnout and maximize Team Member retention. Juanita Angelini, Memory Support Resource Coordinator, leads each of these classes.


Foundational Classes

Memory Support Half Day is a class for ancillary staff, meaning those not providing direct care to Residents. Team Members from Floorcare, Culinary Services, Property Management, Human Resources, Security, Housekeeping, and other departments are invited to attend this class. Topics covered in this four- hour class include Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Habilitation Therapy, Knowing and Understanding the Individual, Communication Skills, and Behavior as Communication, and Activity and Purposeful Engagement. Videos and activities are interjected throughout this class to provide interactive opportunities for participants.

Memory Support 100 is a full day class for Team Members who provide direct care to Residents. This class is considered a foundational memory support class for Nursing Team Members and expands on the Memory Support Half Day class, with the addition of The Physical Environment, Understanding and Working with Families, and Our Approach to Personal Care. Willow Valley Communities Resident, Kathy Spencer, has been a guest speaker in this class for three years. Following a discussion about the impact dementia has on families and caregiving, Kathy shares her family’s journey with dementia. Team Members have raved about hearing Kathy’s perspective, offering comments such as, “Guest speaker was very helpful” and “Having Kathy Spencer visit was priceless.” An evaluation after one of the classes stated, “Please continue with guest speakers. Knowing their stories is very insightful!”

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) also attend this class immediately following their graduation from the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation Program held at Willow Valley Communities.

It is important to note that all Team Members working in Supportive Living are mandated by the Department of Health to have memory support training upon hire and annually. To exceed the Department of Health requirements, Willow Valley Communities requires that Team Members working in Memory Support Communities complete eight hours of memory support training per year.


Advance Classes

  • Memory Support 200
  • Self-Protection Class (beginning fall of 2021)
  • Certified Dementia Practitioner – To date, Juanita has trained 68 Team Members to become Certified Dementia Practitioners. Team Members with this certification have received comprehensive knowledge in the area of dementia care and have met the requirements set forth by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners in a promise to promote the highest quality of life and quality of care to those living with dementia.
  • Care Partner Burnout: Coping and Helping

Caregiver and Resident Education

We recognize that caregivers, family, and friends are at the helm of providing support to Residents living with dementia. That is why Juanita has created classes tailored to the needs of caregivers, to help them develop a deeper understanding of the symptoms, needs, communication skills, and abilities of those with dementia or other memory loss. In an effort to reduce the stigma and further develop a dementia-friendly community, caregivers are invited to participate in these classes. Juanita is also available to meet with families on an individual basis to provide education and guidance.

Additional Educational Opportunities

Memory Support Monday – For those looking to receive Juanita’s Memory Support Monday videos, where Juanita shares short clips of education, information, and advice. Please sign-up to receive our emails!

Resident Group Presentations – Juanita travels to different Resident groups on campus to provide insight into the Memory Support classes available at Willow Valley Communities

Virtual Reality – Team Members, Residents, and caregivers are invited to participate in an immersive virtual reality session to see life through the eyes of someone living with dementia. Courses related to Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s disease, and End of Life Conversations are available.

Real-Time Mentoring – during your visit to one of our Memory Support Communities, you may find Juanita providing hands-on training and guidance to Team Members or relatives who have come to visit. Juanita is always happy to answer your questions!

Memory Support Resource Room – everyone is welcome to stop by the Resource Room located in Lakes A-222 during open hours. Updates on the Memory Care Center and information related to all things memory loss and brain health are available for your viewing.

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