Maximizing Outcomes in Patients with Cognitive Impairments

Course Number

This course is FREE for professional members of, pro memberships $189/year: Become a Member

Presenter: Dr. Robert Winningham
Course Preview:

Patients with cognitive impairment often have difficulty with functional activities as well as learning or relearning behaviors in the clinic. Many clients are functioning below their potential, because of fear or other psychological barriers. In addition, depressed, unmotivated, apathetic and/or anxious clients often do not benefit from treatment as much as others. As you know, these patients often pose difficult challenges for therapists. In this exciting and unique 2 day course, we will learn and discuss how to increase the efficacy of our treatment with patients who have cognitive impairment, depression, or difficult personality disorders. Therapists will learn how to individualize their treatment interventions for difficult populations in this intermediate course. Therapists will also get practical ideas, tools, and strategies they will be able to immediately put into practice.

If you treat patients with the following conditions then this course is for you:
  1. Alzheimers Disease
  2. Parkinsons Disease
  3. Brain injury from stroke or trauma
  4. No awareness of their impairments
  5. Depression
  6. Apathy
  7. Extreme lack of motivation
  8. Multiple Sclerosis
  9. Older adults with memory problems
  10. Patients that fall or are fearful of falling
The approaches presented will be evidence-based, supported by research and will focus on improving functional independence, mobility, ADLs, and even memory ability. Videotaped clinical case studies and examples will be used to illustrate and reinforce the ideas and techniques.

In this cutting edge course, participants will also learn up-to-date information about memory, aging, and dementia. They will learn how to implement evidence-based interventions to slow or even reverse memory problems. Participants will get web access to over 300 cognitive rehabilitation activities and social support interventions for community settings. Most of these activities and interventions are appropriate for people who want to be proactive in preventing memory loss as well as those who have Mild Cognitive Impairment, early stage dementia, or cognitive deficits after a stroke. Workshop participants will learn how to take advantage of preserved cognitive abilities that allow even mid-stage dementia patients to learn new skills. Finally, participants will learn how to motivate their apathetic and unmotivated residents and patients so they can take advantage of these breakthroughs.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Implement effective strategies that enhance functional independence in clients with cognitive impairment. They will be able to identify strategies to remove common barriers to learning.
  • Identify psychological barriers to learning (e.g., subtypes of depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and maladaptive thinking patterns).
  • Employ effective strategies to overcome psychological barriers to learning.
  • Modify treatment techniques in order to allow cognitively impaired patients to learn new skills.
  • Identify and apply effective cognitive rehabilitation strategies, especially for their geriatric and brain injured patients.
  • Develop their own geriatric wellness and cognitive enhancement programs.
  • Apply the use it or lose it theory of memory and aging.

They will also learn:  

  • about evidence that supports this theory and how it relates to older adults.
  • basic information about memory, why we forget, and how memory changes over the lifespan.
  • about delirium and the different types of dementia and their common treatments.
  • about cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive enhancement programs.
  • how to implement a cognitive enhancement program for people of varying abilities
  • how to motivate people to engage in programs and rehabilitation.
About Rob: Dr. Rob Winningham has 20 years of experience researching applied memory issues and for the past 16 years has conducted research on older adults and ways to enhance their mental functioning and quality of life. He has developed novel approaches to maximize the efficacy of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Most recently, he has been helping Linked Seniorcreate video games and interactive activities specifically designed to enhance cognition. He creates monthly brain stimulation activities for thousands of retirement communities as a part of Dr. Rob’s Cranium Crunches on He is a full Professor and Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division at Western Oregon University (WOU) where he manages both the Psychology and Gerontology Departments. Before beginning at WOU, Dr. Winningham received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Baylor University. In addition to publishing many peer-reviewed articles in the area of human memory, Dr. Winningham makes frequent television and radio appearances and has given well over 600 invited presentations about memory and aging at various conferences and workshops. His book Train Your Brain: How to Maximize Memory Ability in Older Adulthood was recently published by Baywood Publishing
Additional Information

This course is offered for 1.2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level, Professional Area)

Course Timeline:

90 minutes: Use it or lose it: Maximizing memory ability

120 minutes: Memory and cognition

30 minutes: How can you help cognitively impaired patients learn and remember better?

80 minutes: Understanding dementia and memory loss

30 minutes: What is executive functioning and how does it affect the treatment process

40 minutes: Maximizing executive functioning

60 minutes: Developing your own cognitive enhancement program

110 minutes: Different types of cognitive enhancement activities

60 minutes: Participant management: How to handle issues common in the cognitively impaired (e.g., apathy, depression, agitation, motivation)

100 minutes: Nutrition, mood, social support and physical exercise

Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Robert Winningham is a speaker for and receives royalties. 
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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