Although our Director of Memory Care, Anna Jensen, already had more than 21 years of senior living experience, and solid credentials in memory care, she pursued additional certification and completed training last November to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP).
“I am always looking to continue my education—as well as stay up-to-date on current trends,” Jensen explains. “With the CDP, those accomplishments are simply documented formally. Combined with my past education, the new training provided insights into new approaches and additional good ideas for memory care staff training at Clarendale of St. Peters.”
To earn certification, a CDP completes extensive training in the area of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Each student receives resources to support key aspects of dementia care, including communication techniques, disruptive behaviors interventions and tools for addressing concerns such as wandering, aggressive behaviors and poor nutrition.
According to the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, certification helps assure families that their loved ones will receive sensitive care by a trained and certified health care professional. There’s a reduced risk of injury and confidence that comes with understanding that CDPs know the appropriate activities for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, a CDP is certified to provide sensitive psychosocial support to both residents and families, including education and training in the areas of end-of-life care and comfort measures for end-stage dementia.
“My career journey has been driven by a desire to create a better quality of life for those who live and work in senior living,” says Jensen. “I believe the best way to give older adults a much-deserved, rewarding lifestyle is through teamwork and family. As time goes on, the CDP will help me to better train our staff and families in how to create the best possible home for our residents.”
Jensen’s past experience includes serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Social Service worker, and Sales representative. Additionally, she holds two degrees from Lindenwood University—a bachelor’s degree in health management and master’s degree in Gerontology, as well as a Nursing Home Administrator’s license.