Staff Report

The Friendship House Board of Directors is proud to announce several staff have become certified and trained in the CARES dementia technique and are now certified dementia specialists. 

The CARES Dementia Specialist (CDS) credentialing process includes completing six CARES online training modules, passing the 100-question exam and submitting documentation for approval. All certified dementia specialists can be found on an International CDS Registry. 

The CARES training is a unique approach to care that can be used in any situation, with any person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and at any level of decline. The training provides realistic tools and approaches to use, a “toolbox” that provides the confidence to problem solve when working with someone who has dementia.  

“Day in and day out, care partners face difficult challenges with dementia care. Unfortunately, most organizations lack a core team of dementia specialists to help guide other care partners through these challenges,” Friendship House Executive Director Tammy Westwood said. “This is why we implemented the CARES program. By going through the program you truly become a specialist in not only how to care for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, but also how to relate to someone living with the disease. 

“This relational shift in how to approach someone with Alzheimer’s is critical for the person’s care. Families can feel comforted and reassured that their loved ones are being cared for by knowledgeable and certified care partners.”

Friendship House is a nonprofit Assisted Living Home specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.  They also provide respite to family caregivers in our community by offering a full time Life Enrichment Day Care Program for dependent seniors and an overnight respite room.  

For additional information on Friendship House, please visit