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What is Dementia Reality™ ?

The first dementia instruction program combining skills training with real-life obstacles in a virtual environment.

The outcome is more empathetic caregivers and happier, engaged residents, clients and patients.

Dementia Reality™ is a collaboration between CJE SeniorLife and Elderwerks Educational Services

The organizations believe being immersed into the world of dementia is a better way to teach professionals and families about dementia.

CJE SeniorLife (CJE): Established in 1971, CJE is a leading Chicago area eldercare provider offering a wide array of healthcare services, wellness education, home and community-based resources, housing, benefits advocacy, and applied research. Each year, these services annually benefit 20,000 clients and caregivers throughout the metropolitan area. CJE is committed to serving older adults and their families regardless of income, religion, gender, or ethnicity. CJE has extensive experience in the development and facilitation of dementia-friendly programming.

Elderwerks Educational Services (Elderwerks): Established in 2012, Elderwerks’ mission is to provide older adults, seniors, and families with senior living coordination, advocacy, and education. The complimentary information, referrals, and guidance provided helps seniors make appropriate decisions. Acting as “senior guidance counselors” Elderwerks is able to answer any aging related question regarding senior housing, care, benefits, services, veteran’s benefits, local resources, as well as federal programs. This information provided helps seniors stay home well or transition successfully into a new opportunity. Annually, Elderwerks serves over 1,200 individuals in-person and nearly 10,000 through telephonic support.

Dementia Reality® is a joint project of CJE SeniorLife and Elderwerks
and is generously funded by the Foglia Foundation.

Extensive training using the innovative Dementia Reality™ VR module training program


Learn more about:

  • Personhood
  • Communication
  • Intentional Supportive Approach
  • How to improve the quality of care for a person living with dementia

Dementia Reality™ Benefits for Staff

  • Empathy for individuals living with dementia through first-hand experience.
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of AD/ADRD; 6-hour CEU-certified dementia training in personhood, safety, empathy, understanding and managing behaviors.
  • Build knowledge and skills through immersion.
  • Engages and motivates the adult learner through experiential training.
  • Acceleration of skills – discussion and reflection of each person’s experience helps build knowledge.
  • Improved job satisfaction leads to increased staff retention.
  • Increased safety; fewer staff injuries.

Dementia Reality™ Benefits for Clients & Residents

  • Improved quality of care: Focus on personhood and unconscious bias facilitates awareness of resident and family preferences, values, cultural traditions, and socio-economic conditions.
  • Improved behavioral outcomes and decreased use of psychotropic medications.
  • Increased safety: Better communication, improved care means fewer falls and other injuries.
  • Enhanced care relationships, improved quality of life.

The growing Alzheimer’s crisis 

Combined with persistent extreme worker shortages

An estimated 6.2 million Americans ages 65 and older nationally are living with Alzheimer’s Dementia including 230,000 in Illinois, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2050, that number is projected to more than double across the country. Worldwide, every three seconds someone is diagnosed with some form of dementia.
Home health care providers who care for them are constantly struggling to recruit and retain enough CNAs and other direct care workers to meet escalating demand. One in six nursing homes report a shortage of nursing assistants.  Sixty-four percent of new hires in aging services turnover within the first six months of employment. CNA turnover is associated with deficiencies in quality of care and resident behavior, and high turnover rates in nursing homes of CNAs and licensed nurses are associated with a higher number of deficiencies. In addition, the cost of replacing an employee can be upwards of 16 percent of the annual salary for that position.
Lack of adequate training is among key factors that contribute to high turnover rates in the nursing home and home health care industries. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have recommended changes to federal requirements for general direct-care worker training, including an increase in training hours from 75 to 120, and instructional content with a stronger focus on knowledge and skills related to caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Upcoming Events

Currently we are focused on the healthcare sector

The new Dementia Reality™ VR module includes extensive training on personhood, communication, supportive approach™ and improving the quality of care of a person living with dementia.

Learn more:
Download Administrative FAQ
Download General FAQ


Dementia Reality™ Training

Monday, August 22, 2022


8:30am Sign in
9am-4pm Training
251 E. Northwest Hwy
Palatine, IL 60667


Dementia Reality™ has been designed to utilize technology to develop better outcomes.

This new way of learning helps improve the quality of care, reduces claims and losses due to personnel failures, and improves staff satisfaction.

Your newly trained employees will help improve quality of care and your census.

Feel free to call 773.508.1123, email or complete the form below to learn more about availability and pricing options.