Training Curriculum: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Training for the primary care workforce about dementia, and caring for those affected, is essential.

The facts are compelling: currently more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease. Ultimately, one out of every three Americans will die from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, meaning the loss of the ability to think, remember, or reason, as well as the loss of behavioral abilities, to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.

Signs and symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons (nerve cells) in the brain stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.

How will training assist the primary care workforce?

With federal partners and public stakeholders, we created a curriculum—16 core modules and four supplemental modules—for health educators to train the primary care workforce about dementia care, and to help providers address caregiver needs.

Who should use this curriculum?

To promote interprofessional teamwork in the care of persons living with dementia (PLwD), we recommend that the following people use this curriculum:

  • Health professions faculty
  • Students
  • Primary care practitioners
  • Members of the interprofessional geriatrics care team
  • Direct service workers

Core Modules

Modules 1-12 contain information about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias of particular interest to the primary care workforce.

Modules 13-16 specify the roles of specific health care professions in dementia care.

All 16 core modules include a PowerPoint presentation, with detailed notes, and a reference list, to assist with teaching and presentations.

The modules focus primarily on outpatient rather than residential care because the majority of PLwD remain in their homes during the earlier, and some even through later stages, of dementia.

Continuing Education (CE)

HRSA works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to offer four types of continuing education for:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Certified health educators
  • Health professions for each of the 16 core modules

We offer continuing education for pharmacists on Module 15.

Each module's Continuing Education Information file includes directions on how to earn each type of CE.

Supplemental Modules

Our supplemental learning modules assist providers in understanding and addressing caregiver needs of PLwD.

For Providers

We developed learning modules to help family and other caregivers of persons with dementia take care of their own health and understand and cope with the challenges of caregiving.

For Caregivers


Date Last Reviewed:  October 2020

Contact Us

Nina Tumosa
Phone: 301-443-5626