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Approximately 50% of US nursing home residents have a diagnosis of dementia. Abilities Care Approach® was created by occupational therapists (OTs) to promote quality dementia care for residents in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are often the primary caregiver for residents with dementia. To ensure carryover of ACA principles, ACE dementia training was targeted towards CNAs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Abilities Care Experts®(ACE) training program which provides CNAs with an occupation-based dementia care approach by focusing on the importance of occupational engagement and knowledge of dementia stages. Results indicated that ACE trained CNAs (N=13) had significantly higher levels of self-efficacy, knowledge of dementia care approaches, and perceived knowledge of dementia compared to non ACE trained CNAs (N=16). Findings demonstrate the importance of caregiver training focused on strategies to facilitate occupational engagement at each stage of dementia. OT expertise in providing stage-specific dementia care training can improve caregiving educational outcomes. Further empirical research may help to further understand the optimal use of ACA-focused dementia training programs to improve quality of care.


Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor

Susan Morris Ph.D., OTR/L

Publication Date

Fall 2017


San Rafael, CA


Dementia, certified nursing assistants, CNA, Abilities Care Experts, dementia training program, skilled nursing facility


Geriatric Nursing | Geriatrics | Interprofessional Education | Occupational Therapy

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Abilities Care Approach™ Training