Dementia: Challenging Behaviors

Increased knowledge of identifying and addressing challenging behaviors associated with dementia including activating agents, consequences, communication and care approaches as evidenced by obtaining 70% or higher on the final exam.
Challenging behavior is a term used to describe disruptive behaviors that may interfere with a person’s ability to participate in normal day-to-day activities. Challenging behaviors can also impact the caregiver’s ability to provide effective care for the individual.

This course will assist the aide in recognizing behaviors frequently seen in individuals with dementia, the significance of these actions as well as common triggers or activing events. Communication and care methods to help decrease or avoid these behaviors will also be discussed.

This is a self-paced course with optional knowledge check quizzes after each lesson. These non-graded quizzes allow you to check your understanding of the lesson objectives before proceeding to the next lesson. After the final lesson you will be required to take the final exam. You must score 70% or higher to pass the course and obtain a certificate of completion.

  • Define challenging behaviors in relation to dementia
  • Identify commonly seen behaviors associated with dementia, their significance and common activating events/agents
  • Explain the ABC's of behavior
  • Outline communication and care strategies that can help avoid or decrease challenging behaviors.
Contact Time

1.5 Contact Hour: Contact Hour(s) based on 60 minute

Estimated Time

The estimated time for completion for this activity is 1.5 hour(s).

Intended Audience

This course is designed to meet the continuing education requirements of direct caregivers such as aides in home care and skilled nursing facilities. This course may also be appropriate for personal care workers/aides as well.

Course Planning Team

Kathy L. Richie, RN, BSN; Kristi Kiehne; MBA; Marilyn Chambers MSN, RN

Disclosure Statements:

Commercial Support: This course was developed in accordance with ANCC Commercial Support Guidelines. No commercial support was accepted for the development of this course.

Non-endorsement of Products and Off Label Use: This course provides a balanced view of therapeutic options. Use of generic names is always considered before using trade names. Consequently, if trade names are necessary, when available, we will use trade names from several companies. RCTC and the course planning team do not endorsed any products or drugs that may be mentioned in this course.

Bias: This course provides a balanced view of therapeutic options and is free of commercial bias for or against any product or commercial entity. Use of generic names is always considered before using trade names. Consequently, if trade names are necessary, when available, trade names from several companies will be used. RCTC and the course planning team do not endorse any products or drugs that may be mentioned in this course.

Mitigation of Relevant Financial Relationships: No planners or faculty have any financial relationships (with companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients) that are relevant to the content of this educational activity.

Author Originating

Marilyn Chambers - MSN, RN

Marilyn Chambers has been an associate professor and adjunct faculty member at Bethel University, St Paul, MN since 1983. Her areas of expertise are public health, home care, psych-mental health, and leadership. Marilyn has also been a consultant in home care and assisted living since 1995. She works closely with agencies and clinical staff on clinical nursing skills and services, documentation, regulatory compliance, professional and paraprofessional training on skills and compliance as well as serving as a mentor to new RNs, both in the director of nursing role and clinical case management.


Materials used in connection with this course may be subject to copyright protection. Retention of the materials for longer than the class term, unauthorized further dissemination of the materials, or use of copyrighted materials in any way other than intended for this class is prohibited by Copyright and Teach Act laws.


This course was developed with Rochester Community and Technical College's Center for Business and Workforce Education located in Rochester Minnesota. Development of this course was supported by a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant.

Evidence Based References
Very Well Health
2018 - Very Well Health -
Alzheimer's Disease
2018 - Alzheimer's Disease -
National Institutes on Aging
2018 - What Are the Signs of Alzheimer's Disease? -
Course Code
Course Category
Paraprofessional Healthcare Continuing Education