Dementia support group to feature trainings in end-of-life care and connecting through local literature

Dementia support group to feature trainings in end-of-life care and connecting through local literature

Dementia support group to feature trainings in end-of-life care and connecting through local literature


Starting this March and continuing through April, the Guam/Micronesia Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program of the University of Guam School of Health will provide an opportunity for caregivers of persons with dementia to participate in an online training and certification program called CARES® End-of-Life Dementia Care™. This award-winning program helps family and professional caregivers understand what is happening to a person with dementia at the end of life and equips caregivers with tools and strategies to approach end-of-life care with confidence.

The program has five modules, three of which will take place this month:

Module 1: Introduction to End-of-Life Dementia Care
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, or
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, March 5

Module 2: The CARES® Approach
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 16, or
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, March 19

Module 3: Decision Making at the End of Life
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, or
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 2

Participants who complete all five modules will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible for CARES® Dementia Certification.

CARES® was created by HealthCare Interactive®, an organization that specializes in online training for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. All of the CARES® training programs were developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and include evidence-based strategies grounded in the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.

Special sessions featuring local literature

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, and again at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, the program will feature a special presentation on making meaningful connections with older adults and persons with dementia through collaborative readings of local literature from Guam, including novels, short stories, and picture books.

Several authors will be in attendance at the virtual session to share the inspiration for their writing and to give a live reading from their books.

The session will include live readings from the following books:

  • "Neni Girl from Agat, Guam" by Anita Borja Enriquez, DBA * "Where’s Ko’ko’?" by Isaiah Diaz
  • "CHamoru Legends: A Gathering of Stories" retold by Teresita Lourdes Perez "Ma Guaiya Yu’, si Nåna yan si Tåta (Grandma and Grandpa Love Me)" by Simone Bollinger yan Dana Bollinger "Guaiyayon na Trongkon Mansanita (The Loveable Mansanita Tree)" by Dolores Indalecio Camacho

The support group will also feature Sen. Amanda Shelton as a special guest speaker on Wednesday, March 23, and again on Saturday, March 26.

How to participate

To attend a family caregiver online support group, use the following Zoom links:

Weekly family caregiver support groups

The support groups are facilitated by Iain Twaddle from the University of Guam, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a licensed clinical psychologist; Rhoda Orallo, a social worker with Health Services of the Pacific, who holds a master’s in social work; and Nikolas Gutierrez, a G/M GWEP counselor who holds a bachelor’s in psychology.

For more information, contact Iain Twaddle or Nikolas Gutierrez at (671) 735-2883 or or Rhoda Orallo at (671) 735-3277 or

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award totaling $885,592.00 with zero percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the US Government. Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program Award #: 6 U1QHP33078-03-02.

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