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August SPIN Meeting: Best Practices on How to Communicate with People Living with Dementia

Date: August 23, 2021

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Location: Zoom Meeting

August 2021 Certificate of Attendance
Download DOC • 32KB

Topic: Best Practices on How to Communicate with People Living with Dementia

This training will give the audience the need to know information, and the dos and don'ts of how to best communicate with people living with dementia. Dementia takes away so much, and as dementia forces communication abilities to change significantly over time, learning how to still communicate and make important connections can be challenging for everyone. This presentation will provide the audience with nearly 20 years of direct dementia care experience and insight into best communication practices. The audience will also learn about what dementia care communication success means to a currently licensed adult care home provider with over 10 years of dementia care practice.

Speaker: Matt Gannon

After serving as a first responder on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in the US Navy, dementia care has become my full-time discipline since 2003 when I began working at Mary's Woods Health Center as a dietary aid, activities assistant, and CNA in the memory care - and I have never wavered. I cared for many of the nuns in memory care at Mary's Woods, and it was their friends who encouraged me to enroll as a student at Marylhurst University. I studied for 6 years in the Marylhurst Human Studies and Gerontology program where all of my academic work was tailored to people living with dementia and the people who care for them.

For over 10 years I partnered with a Lake Oswego Adult Placement and Referral Agency owner on countless transition cases for people living with dementia. I spent several years working full-time at the Alzheimer's Association Oregon & SW Washington Chapter as an educator and consultant. Most of my time was spent consulting family members and people living with dementia, teaching classes to families, professionals, medical students, and first responders, and training activity directors on art programs for dementia. I also worked alongside OHSU's Layton Center neurology and nursing team in the Alzheimer's Center Clinic to provide direct consultation to their newly diagnosed patients and loved ones.

Other roles I've served for people living with dementia include: CNA in Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living; Substitute Caregiver for a level 3 Adult Care Home; Administrator for Memory Care; Director of Care for an In-Home Care Agency; Dementia Family Support Group Leader; and as of January 2021, I am proud to be a Consultant & Provider Services Coordinator with Oregon Care Home Consulting & Training. Along with our many services, we provide our state-required Pre-Service Dementia Training and we offer Dementia Consultation.

Oregon Care Home Consulting & Training: Oregon Care Home Consulting & Training supports the success of current and future APD adult foster care home providers in Oregon through our ethically-based, passion-driven approach. We do this by providing the guidance, training, advocacy, and ongoing support providers need to effectively navigate licensing requirements and stay in compliance. This allows providers to have success in their care home that benefits both providers and residents. Visit

Important information about CEU Credits: Oregon Health Authority no longer pre-approves CEU’s. Go to to determine if this presentation will count towards annual CEU requirement for Nursing and Residential Care administrators.

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