Maximizing Therapy for Cognitively Impaired Individuals

Course Number

 Rob Winningham, PhD and Mike Studer, PT, MHS, NCS, CEEAA, CWT, CSST
This course is appropriate for the following audiences: Physical Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants,  Recreation Therapists, and others who treat the following:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Brain injury from stroke or trauma
  • No awareness of their impairments
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Extreme lack of motivation
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Older adults with memory problems.
  • Patients that fall or are fearful of falling      
Patients with cognitive impairment often have difficulty with functional activities as well as learning or relearning behaviors in the clinic. Attendees will learn what aspects of cognition are most often affected by mild to moderate cognitive impairment and how to overcome some of those deficits with either long term cognitive rehabilitation or short term executive functioning enhancing interventions. 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 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.


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

  • implement effective strategies that enhance functional independence in clients with cognitive impairment.
  •  identify strategies to remove common barriers to learning.
  • identify optimal caregiver training strategies for the cognitively impaired.
  • identify several ways to motivate depressed, apathetic, and anxious patients to participate in therapy and activities to improve memory ability and quality of life.
  • recognize and employ at least 5 real time strategies to enhance attention and executive functioning in people with mild to moderate cognitive impairment
  • identify and apply effective cognitive rehabilitation strategies, especially for their geriatric and brain injured patients.
  • describe how encoding, storage and retrieval changes throughout older adulthood
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 Senior create 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

About Mike: 
Mike Studer is a full-time treating clinician at and president of Northwest Rehabilitation Associates in Salem, OR. He is has been recognized as a board certified neurologic clinical specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) since 1995 and is a nationally and internationally recognized physical therapist in the areas of neurology and healthy aging. Mike is active in the APTA, with national-level board positions, clinical research, continuing education, and authoring publications. In 2011, Mike received the Neurology Section Clinician of the Year – a national award from the American Physical Therapy Association. In 2014, he received the same award from the Geriatric Section of the APTA – making him the only clinician to have received these awards from two different sections on a national level.
Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level, Professional Area)

CE Credit:
PTs: .75 CEUs (PT California approved)
SLPs: .6 CEUs (SLP California approved)
OTs: .6 (AOTA approved)
Others: 6 Contact Hours


45 minutes: How memory (and the brain) changes with cognitive impairment and dementia. 

45 minutes: Maximizing cognition through improved attention and taking advantage of existing cognitive abilities

60 minutes: More approaches to maximize attention and awareness. Cognitive rehabilitation interventions and possibilities.

60 minutes: Psychology applied in the rehabilitation clinic: Part 1.Maximizing learning and treatment outcomes in your unmotivated, depressed, apathetic, neurotic, fearful and/or anxious patients

45 minutes: Psychology applied in the clinic: Part 2. Maximizing functional independence and carryover in patients with affect, cognition, or psychological impairment. Functioning better in a variety of settings, and with different caregivers. 

45 minutes: Evidenced-based cognitive and psychological rehabilitation approaches: beyond “the couch”.

60 minutes: Videotape applications of evidenced-based cognitive rehabilitation approaches

Disclosure Statement: 
Financial: Robert Winningham is a speaker for and receives royalties. He receives consulting, speaking and teaching fees and has ownership interest in LinkedSenior, Inc. He receives consulting fees and has ownership interest in Activity Connection, Inc., via Certified Consultants, LLC. He is an Author for Baywood Publishers, Inc., and receives royalty payments, and he mentions this book in the presentation.  
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Disclosure Statement: 
Financial: Michael Studer is a speaker for and receives royalties. 
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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