Empowering Care-partners through Experiential Learning: Turning Knowledge and Understanding into ACTION for change

June 2, 2022 | 9:45 – 11:00 am Concurrent Block E

E-5   Empowering Care-partners through Experiential Learning: Turning Knowledge and Understanding into ACTION for change

CE Credits: NAB, Service Coordinators Certificate

Session attendees will be welcomed with a fun and interactive get to know you  activity using AGE-u-cate’s Flashback reminiscing engagement program.   The presenter will introduce the session by sharing data connected to the benefits of experiential learning as well as statistics connected to the prevalence of dementia in a variety of settings within the aging services industry.   Attendees will be asked to share their top 2 challenges connected to caring for people living with dementia and asked to write it down on a piece of paper.  Attendees will be invited to participate in a group Dementia Live experience where each person’s senses will be altered in a way that mimics what it might be like to live with dementia through the use glasses, gloves, and noise. While senses are altered, each person will be given a series of simple tasks to complete such as writing a note or finding an item from their bag. *Depending on the number of people in the session that have already experienced Dementia Live in the exhibition hall, we may skip this portion and introduce a 2nd empowerment tool.  Following the group experience, the session leader will engage attendees in conversation for an opportunity to share how the experience affected them. Attendees will then be asked to share one thing they could do to help a person living with dementia be more successful connected to the challenges they wrote down, recording their thoughts on the same sheet of paper.  The presenter will introduce an Empowerment Tool connected to communicating with people living with dementia, reviewing key care partner approaches geared towards improving quality of life.  Attendees will be broken into groups to review the tool together to brainstorm additional approaches to further support the challenges each person identified.  A few groups will be asked to share a challenge and an identified approach to improve quality of life for both the person and the care partner connected to what they have experienced and learned in the session.  The session will conclude by sharing data on benefits of combining experiential learning with microlearning strategies, including video testimonials, pictures and best practices from aging services providers.  The presenter will also make a connection to what attendees have shared in the session to reinforce the benefits of combining experiential learning and microlearning strategies.


Laura Ellen Christian

Bio: I have worked in the aging services industry for the past 18 years, 17 of those with a top senior living provider supporting development and implementation of engagement programs for seniors as well as creation and oversight of the company’s dementia training program. Serving as Senior Vice President of Engagement and Dementia Training, I implemented AGE-u-cate Training Institute programs at over 40 communities and used them routinely as I engaged in staff training and skills coaching at senior living communities with staff, family members and the community at large. Now working for AGE-u-cate, I have extensive “real life” knowledge of leveraging experiential training combined with existing training resources.

Angel Allaire

Bio: For 25+ years I have worked passionately in the Healthcare field. I started my career as a CNA, then transitioned into the Activity profession where I worked as an Activity Assistant, Assistant Director of Activities, and Campus Activity Director. I continued my growth and became Administrator of an Adult Day Program. Currently I am VP of Engagement and Training for The Arbor Company, where I strive every day to use the talents learned throughout my career.  My career has always allowed me to do what I love; caring for others, making them feel special, and feeling rewarded myself on a regular basis. People are AWESOME and throughout my journey I have been lucky enough to meet, care for, friend, and love many wonderful people who have blessed me with amazing memories.