Nine dementias account for 98 percent of all dementias. Recognizing the signs and features of each dementia helps family caregivers recognize and identify which form or forms of dementia their loved one is displaying, allowing for better care planning.
Tam Cummings, PhD
Tam Cummings, PhD founded her company in 2009 with the mission to “Inspire, Educate, and Empower Dementia Caregivers.” Now her professional gerontology practice in the Texas Hill Country is recognized as one of the leading educators of dementia caregivers and program design for dementia care in Texas and nationally. To date Dr. Cummings has: • authored and published four books for dementia caregivers. • speaks in national podcasts for dementia caregivers. • trained more than 35,000 medical professionals, professional and family caregivers and community first responders nationally. • provides consultations, assessments, dementia education, and care plans for family caregivers in their homes for the CAPCOG Area Agency on Aging. • acknowledged as having the highest ranked keynotes and breakout sessions at more than 300 professional and family caregiver conferences. • developed the Dementia Behavioral Assessment Tool (DBAT) for staging dementias which resulted from 25 years of research in SNFs and memory care communities. • developed a classification and staging tool for the behavioral, communication, and movement variations of the FTDs (Frontotemporal Dementias) – the only tool of its kind. • recognized as the subject-matter-expert (SME) and program designer in a 2018 CMP Project awarded to the Texas Health and Human Services. Cummings developed training for frontline staff to include clinical features of each major form of dementia, specific behaviors presented by different dementias, and correct approaches to ADL care for individual residents. • selected as the SME to design and develop the training content for a 2016 CMP with the Texas Health Care Association. This pilot program reduced the use of antipsychotic medications in SNFs by training professional and family caregivers to recognize the most common forms of dementia and the behaviors associated with each disease. Additional components included designing and teaching activity directors to implement appropriate activities for PWD, teaching family caregivers about dementias and offering Medical Education Credits for physicians.