• Free Alzheimer’s and Dementia Course
    Open to Members

    Earn CME, Access Exclusive Resources

    Nov. 30, 2023, Michael Devitt — A free, members-only online CME course on Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia gives family physicians a comprehensive set of tools and resources to help them care for patients— as well as their caregivers — throughout the course of the disease.

    “This is an excellent, in-depth course that’s going to be of increasing importance as the baby boomer generation ages,” said course chair Ariel Cole, M.D., FAAFP, C.M.D., program director of the Advent Health Geriatric Medicine Fellowship in Winter Park, Fla., and clerkship director for geriatrics at the Florida State University College of Medicine, Orlando campus.

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. The Census Bureau estimates there will be more than 70 million U.S. residents 65 and older by the end of the decade, meaning that family physicians are increasingly likely to care for patients with dementia.

    Course Breakdown

    The on-demand course uses a variety of formats over three phases. Members can complete sessions at their convenience, as well as pause and replay to focus on areas of interest.

    In the first phase, “Predisposing,” Cole is joined by a patient caregiver to identify challenges and demonstrate best practices for communication among physicians, patients and caregivers.

    The next phase, “Enabling,” consists of 14 short lectures/video vignettes with interactive-style questions. Each of these sessions addresses a patient-care challenge through case scenarios that let learners practice and verify their knowledge of major concepts before moving to the next session.

    The enabling sessions cover virtually every aspect of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, including dementia types, how to incorporate dementia care into the office setting, safety issues and end-of-life care. Some vignettes focus on evidence reviews and best practices, while others emphasize patient-centered approaches to disease management, patient education and shared decision-making. Learners can reinforce key concepts in a Translation to Practice® exercise, in which they will reflect on what they learned and develop a plan to implement a change in practice.

    The final phase, “Reinforcing,” features Cole along with Edith Gendron, P.A.C., a certified trainer and consultant, and Sarah Stubbs, M.D., FAAFP, a practicing family physician at the Carilion Clinic Center for Healthy Aging in Roanoke, Va. Participants will review dementia management strategies, learn about tools to evaluate patients’ cognitive abilities, and review resources on patient and caregiver education.

    Throughout the sessions, learners will be directed to the Academy’s Cognitive Care Kit, a resource developed by the AAFP in collaboration with the AAFP National Research Network. The kit helps primary care clinicians identify, screen, care for and educate patients with cognitive impairment, and includes resources for caregivers.

    Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, contributed commercial support for this educational activity through an educational grant.

    Learning Objectives and Credits

    After completing the course, learners will be able to

    • use evidence-based guidelines to evaluate underserved patients symptomatic for cognitive decline for dementia;
    • recognize types of dementia and consider treatment implications;
    • identify tools and resources available to the care team, caregivers and patients about strategies to maintain or improve cognitive health;
    • formulate strategies to manage behavioral problems in patients with dementia, including depression screening.

    Members who complete all three phases can claim up to 13.25 CME credits; those who complete the Translation to Practice® exercise can earn an additional 2.0 AAFP Prescribed CME credits.

    Learn More With AAFP Resources

    The AAFP has developed several resources on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and related topics for family physicians.

    Members can visit the Academy’s Brain Health: Clinical Guidance and Practice Resources webpage for recommendations on various brain health topics, links to American Family Physician and FPM journal articles, CME activities, patient educational materials, and more.

    Familydoctor.org, the Academy’s patient-centered website, offers articles on

    The CDC, HHS and the National Institute on Aging offer related resources.