Elder Education Institute

The Elder Education Institute (EEI) at Sound Generations offers educational curricula that addresses the ever evolving concerns and needs of older adults. Formerly known as the Geriatric Mental Health Program, EEI is in the process of expansion and growth to better serve the needs of both professionals, the community and our elders. While our programs have historically been geared toward licensed clinicians and service professionals who work with older adults, we are in process to provide ever increasing course offerings and events to include people who are or have older adults in their lives and seek a deeper understanding of their unique concerns.

EEI will continue to provide outstanding CEU granting workshops for licensed professionals and other professional service providers. Sound Generations recognizes that maintaining good mental health is a vital part of the aging process and practitioners and service providers need to keep abreast of trends and treatment in this field. We want to ensure service providers have access to this valuable information for years to come so that strong mental health is prioritized among our aging population.

Our professional level workshops are 3-6 hours in duration and are generally held monthly via Zoom. We offer licensed mental health professionals Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in the geriatric mental health field, approved by the WMHCA. We also welcome anyone who works with older adults professionally to join us to learn from experts in the field of Geriatric Mental Health.

As the Institute continues to evolve, we will be offering courses that are community oriented and welcome suggestions, collaborations and outreach opportunities that will help us achieve our goal to provide a great depth and breadth of topics of guidance. We are excited at this new threshold and look forward to creating an educational forum where professionals and the public find the training and information needed to address the special needs of our elders so they may age with caring support and dignity.

The Elder Education Institute is designed and managed by Education Specialist, Alison Laird Craig. Sabrina Jones, MSW acts as an advisory colleague on the professional mental health portion of the program.  Alison can be reached at alisonc@soundgenerations.org if you have questions, suggestions, or would like to teach a workshop.

The Elder Education Institute offers full or partial scholarships to those in need of financial assistance. Please reach out to Alison for more information at alisonc@soundgenerations.org.

Previous workshops have focused on Dementia/Delirium- Diagnosis and Treatment, Long Term Care Planning, Enhancing Dementia Personhood Through the Arts, Elder Law and Pharmacology, Caregivers of Older Adults- Conflict and Cooperation, Elder Abuse and Neglect, Suicide Prevention, Loneliness And Social Isolation in Older Adults and more.


Upcoming Workshops


Decisional Capacity in Older Adults: What Is It and How Do We Assess It?

with Karin Taifour, MA, LMHC, GMHS – 3 CEUs

Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 9am-12:30pm PDT

$75

Scholarships Available

Assessing decision-making capacity requires an understanding of both how capacity is defined and how it is assessed.  Typically these topics were barely mentioned, let alone explored in detail, in most professional and medical education programs.  Fortunately, science has expanded the understanding of the brain and body, while we have also seen more recognition of the values of person-centered care, personal autonomy, and less restrictive alternatives. 

The long growing demand for services in this area has increased exponentially since 2020 – effects of the pandemic have amplified problems of impaired cognition and functioning within a surging aging population.  Law enforcement, court systems, public agencies has been joined by increasing inquiries from attorneys, banking and financial institutions, and families for assistance.

In this workshop you will learn to:

  • Review different clinical and legal aspects of the concept of capacity – and common misperceptions
  • Understand various areas of cognition and executive functioning and how they relate to the specific steps of the decision-making process
  • Explore a range of cognitive testing tools and other clinical instruments used in the assessment of clients and how they make decisions
  • Consider ethical, logistical, and systemic influences on the assessment process

Karin Taifour, MA LMHC GMHS, holds a masters is Applied Behavioral Sciences from Bastyr University and a certificate in geriatric mental health from University of Washington. Karin has been a practicing clinician and consultant for over 20 years, in private practice since 2017.  A qualified clinical supervisor, Karin also has taught graduate level courses and provided professional training and continuing education, as well as public/community presentations.

Karin worked for several years with a county crisis program serving older adults and saw many cases involving involving abuse, exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect. These were typically tough cases, but Karin had a soft spot for them as her own grandparents were exploited out of their life savings.  However, having ties to a personal experience is quite different from professionally assessing a situation – without any certification programs for capacity assessment at the time, Karin took continuing education classes and seminars, read medical and legal journals, went to conferences, and communicated with experts researching and working in this field.  The more she learned, the more cases with these issues were sent her way.

Karin gained experience in testifying at multiple criminal trials, guardianship proceedings, and vulnerable adult protection order hearings. She wrote articles and presented at conferences and for organizations such as the Elder Abuse Council of Seattle and King County, the Washington State Bar Association and the King County one, the state guardianship certification program, the Washington State Elder Abuse Conference, and others.  She is recognized for her expertise and experience in assessing decisional capacity, cognitive functioning, and care needs, and estimates she has assessed over 1000 older adults.

As one of the few clinicians (if not the only one) offering decisional capacity evaluation services in the greater Seattle area, Karin is eager to share this rich area of practice with other professionals to both build understanding of what decisional capacity is and what is involved in assessing it.  The demand for these services is growing exponentially, and she looks forward to other clinicians to start working in this area for collaboration and mutual support. 

3 Continuing Education credits for social workers, mental health clinicians and marriage and family counselors.  Case managers and other service providers are also welcome to attend.

 

Working with Dementia Related Concerns in Older Adults: A Two Part Workshop

with Janelle Jensen, MS, LMFT, Alice Allen-Redfern, MSW and Dr. Lama Sibai, PsyD. – 6 CEUs

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 9am-4:30pm PDT

$135

Scholarships Available

In this day-long workshop, we will address how to best work with dementia related behaviors and concerns. The morning session with Janelle Jensen, MS, LMFT, Responding to Difficult Dementia Related Behaviors, will explore and discuss why challenging experiences and behaviors occur in dementia, talking through various complexities and caveats, and identify different approaches or ways of thinking about how we respond to dementia that may leave us and the one we care for with a better overall experience. This workshop is appropriate for family and professional caregivers and/or those who support caregivers. The goal is for you to have greater awareness, competency, and confidence for how to interact with challenging dementia moments. 

In this part of the workshop you will learn to:

  1. Identify why challenging/difficult experiences occur in the dementia experience.
  2. Name 2-3 different approaches or responses to try with different behavior experiences. 
  3. Have more awareness and confidence for how to respond to people living with dementia and/or support others who are caring for people living with dementia. 

Janelle Jensen, MS, LMFT has been working in the aging and mental health field for over 15 years and is currently working in private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with mostly older adults and families who provide care for a loved one living with dementia and related conditions. She also contracts with local skilled nursing facilities to provide mental health services, and past work experiences include care manager in private care management, family caregiver support with the Alzheimer’s Association, and social worker in a skilled nursing facility. Janelle received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

The afternoon session, Engage  and Learn: Strategies for Assisting Clients with Memory Loss- Case Studies Welcome!- with Dr. Lama Sibai, PsyD. and Alice Allen-Redfern. MSW for the Brain Memory Health Group, will explore dementia care from an integrative and holistic perspective, considering both patients and their family caregivers. We will delve into the anatomy and functions underlying a brain affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias, providing a deeper understanding of dementia symptoms and how they may manifest in behaviors, and cognitively. You will also learn about different types of dementia, as well as how they are diagnosed. The class offers a case study presentation and an open forum for questions, and discussions, encouraging an interactive and collaborative learning environment.

In this part of the workshop you will learn to:

Holistic approach to dementia care. Gain a comprehensive understanding of dementia care from an integrative and holistic standpoint, emphasizing the consideration of both patients and family caregivers. Explore the interconnectedness of psychological, biological and behavioral aspects in the context of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Insight into brain anatomy and function processes. Gain insight in the anatomical and cognitive intricacies of a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, fostering a deeper comprehension of how these processes contribute to the manifestation of dementia symptoms and behaviors.

Differentiation and diagnosis of dementia types . Understand the various types of dementia and the diagnostic procedures involved.

Application through case studies and collaborative discussion. Apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios through engaging case study presentations. Enhance critical and creative thinking skills in the context of dementia and family care.


Alice Allen-Redfern, MSW is a Clinical Social Worker, psychotherapist, and a graduate of the University of Washington. Alice specializes in chronic illness, brain health, and family caregiving. With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, and related cognitive conditions, in various settings across the UK, Canada and the U.S. Currently serving as the Head of Clinical Services at Magnolia, Alice leads initiatives to support caregivers caring for those with neurocognitive disorders and other chronic illnesses. She is also a co-founder of The Brain and Memory Health Group, a Magnolia division, that provides interdisciplinary and holistic support to families affected by dementia. She is the author of “Caregiver Voices” published by Alzheimer’s International.

 Dr. Lama Sibai, PsyD. is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who earned her doctorate degree in Berkeley CA. She went on to complete her residency in the Neurology department at UT Southwestern/ North Texas VA Hospital in the Dallas, TX area. Dr. Sibai also completed a fellowship in the Neurology department at the University of Virginia. For over 10 years, she has worked in the diagnosis and care of individuals living with various dementias or movement disorders. Dr. Sibai co-founded the Brain and Memory Health Group as a response to the ever growing needs of her patients and their caregivers.Dr. Sibai is also serving as the Chief Medical Officer at Magnolia where she oversees clinical practices for those living with memory loss and their families. Dr. Sibai’s approach to care is person-centered and culturally responsive to the needs and strengths of the families she is working with. Dr. Sibai was the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association Community Partner of The Year award in 2018. She also received The Maude’s Award for Innovations in Alzheimer’s Care.

 Continuing Education credits for social workers, mental health clinicians and marriage and family counselors.  Case managers and other service providers are also welcome to attend.




Upcoming 2024 Workshops

  •  April,10, 2024 –  Assessing Cognitive Change in Older Adults – Part 2 of the Decisional Capacity Assessment Series with Karin Taifour, MA, LMHC, GMHS  and Elder Law with Meredith Grigg, JD – 6 CEUs for the combined workshop day.