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HCAT 125 - Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges

Course Detail

Course Code: HCAT 125

Calendar Description:
This course builds on content from other courses to assist students to explore concepts and care-giving approaches that will allow them to work effectively with individuals experiencing cognitive or mental challenges. Emphasis is on recognizing behaviours and identifying person-centred intervention strategies.

Date First Offered: 2010-07-01

  • Total Hours: 60
  • Lecture Hours: 60
Total Weeks: 9

This course is offered online: No

Pre-Requisites: None

Non-Course Pre-Requisites: None

  • HCAT 110 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
  • HCAT 111 Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
  • HCAT 112 Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
  • HCAT 113 Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
  • HCAT 123 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
  • HCAT 124 Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance
  • HCAT 126 Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living
  • HCAT 127 Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care
Rearticulation Submission: No

Course Content:

Cognitive Challenges in Older Adulthood:
  • Confusion and dementia
  • Common causes of reversible changes in mental functioning
  • Primary forms of irreversible dementia:
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Other dementias
  • Forms and causes of various dementias – pathology, processes and characteristics
  • Philosophies and models of care
  • Importance of life review in care of individuals with dementia
  • Stages of dementia and common behavioural manifestations and unique responses
  • Responsive behaviours – factors influencing behaviours (e.g. “triggers”)
  • Importance of environment in relation to behaviours
  • Strategies for working with individuals exhibiting responsive behaviours
  • Appropriate activities for individuals experiencing differing levels of dementia
  • Working effectively with individuals experiencing early, moderate or severe dementia
  • Supporting family members
  • Caregiver needs and support
  • Types of abuse/abusive relationships
  • Cycle of abuse
  • Recognizing signs of abuse
  • Assessing situations and individuals
  • Responding to or preventing abuse, disruptive or out-of-control behaviour
  • Knowing when to exit a potentially unsafe situation
Mental Health Challenges:
  • Causes and common treatment of mental health challenges
  • Common mental health disorders:
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Affective or mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Dual or multi-diagnoses
  • Stigma associated with mental health challenges
  • Cultural differences in perceptions of mental health challenges
  • Caring for the person and family:
  • Principles and approaches used to plan and implement effective care
  • Person-centered care
  • When and what to report
  • Suicide risks and prevention
Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the learners will be able to:
  1. Describe ways to organize, administer and evaluate person-centred care and assistance for clients/residents experiencing cognitive health challenges:
    • Use an informed problem-solving process when caring for individuals experiencing cognitive health challenges
    • Base choices and actions on a sound understanding of the physical, cognitive and psycho-social processes of various kinds of dementia
    • Base choices and actions on an understanding of environmental influences on behaviours
     2. Describe ways to organize, administer and evaluate person-centered care and assistance  
         for clients/residents experiencing mental health challenges:
    • Use an informed problem-solving process when caring for or providing assistance for individuals experiencing mental health challenges
    • Identify factors that influence the mental health and well-being of individuals
    • Tailor interactions and responses based on an understanding of common mental health challenges
    • Cope constructively with unanticipated or unusual situations
     3. Demonstrate an understanding of effective approaches to disruptive or abusive behaviours:
    • Describe types of abuse/abusive relationships and the cycle of abuse
    • Identify behavioural indicators that an individual or group are becoming disruptive, abusive or out-of-control
    • Utilize calming non-verbal techniques to prevent or de-escalate disruptive or out-of-control behaviours
    • Utilize appropriate verbal techniques to prevent or de-escalate disruptive or out-of-control behaviours
    • Identify and describe potentially unsafe situations
Grading System:  Percentage

Passing Grade:  75%

Grading Weight:
  • Final Exam: 30 %
  • Midterm Exam: 30 %
  • Quizzes and Tests: 20 %
  • Assignments: 10 %
  • Participation: 10 %
Number of Assignments:  1

Nature of Participation:
  • Attendance
  • Active participation in classroom activities and discussions
Writing Assignments:  Case study

Percentage of Individual Work:  90

Percentage of Group Work:  10

Course Offered in Other Programs:  No

Additional Comments:
  • The courses in this program run concurrently.
  • Some course materials must be accessed on the NLC D2L server.
  • A tutorial will be provided.
  • Internet access is needed.
  • Basic computer skills are recommended.
  • Some travel may be required.
  • Attendance schedules may vary.
Text Books:
  • Required - S. Sorrentino, 2009, Mosby's Canada Textbook for The Support Worker, 2nd Canadian Edition (Elsevier). Chapters Covered: Selections
  • Optional - N/A, Handouts provided by Instructor
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