Occupational therapists are ideally suited to teach caregivers how to set up or modify daily routines, use effective strategies, and handle difficult behaviors.6

Skills2Care® is a proven home program that improves well-being and skills of family caregivers, slows decline in daily functioning of persons with dementia, and reduces challenging behaviors that can trigger nursing home placement. Occupational therapists trained and certified in Skills2Care® provide hands-on-education to families to enhance their abilities to manage day-to-day challenges and take care of themselves. Care strategies are developed and implemented that are tailored to the unique needs and environments of families.2,4 

Occupational therapists certified in Skills2Care® teach caregivers how to manage the day-to-day challenges of dementia. Program content includes:

  • Understanding dementia
  • Reducing challenging behaviors
  • Promoting function
  • Communicating effectively
  • Making the home safer
  • Ways to care for themselves while providing the best care possible

Payment and Reimbursement

  • Skills2Care® can be provided to caregivers as a part of a patient's treatment and may be reimbursed by Medicare Part A or Part B.1,3
  • Skills2Care® can be provided to caregivers as a consultation service paid for privately.1
  • Skills2Care® can be provided through aging service networks supported by the National Family Caregiver Program.

Certification Requirements and Continuing Education 

1. Complete the training components:

  • Self-paced Online Modules (Completed independently; 11 hours)
  • Live Online Instruction and Practice (2 days; 14 hours)
  • Live Online Coaching sessions (5 sessions over the course of 6 months; 5 hours)

2. Deliver Skills2Care® to at least 3 to 5 caregivers

3. Present case report and submit Skills2Care® documentation during coaching component 

Occupational therapists receive 30 contact hours at the conclusion of the certification process (approximately 6 months). 

Skills2Care® certification is for two years with the option for renewal. 

The Dementia Collaborative is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course approval ID# 01502. This hybrid/blended course is offered at 3.0 CEUs, intermediate educational level, category: OT Service Delivery. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA or indicate AOTA approval of a certification or other professional recognition.  

Instructional Methods: This course utilizes a variety of instructional methods including: web-based videos, readings, live Zoom courses, written assessment, case presentation, group work, role play, and discussion

Skills2Care® is BPC Approved

Skills2Care® is an approved BPC dementia caregiving program. That means it’s passed strict criteria to be included as a top dementia caregiving program within the Best Practice Caregiving database. The database is a free online resource that helps organizations identify, compare and adopt best-fit programs from across the U.S. for their clients and community. Learn more about the “BPC Approved” badge here and visit Best Practice Caregiving at bpc.caregiver.org

Training Components:

A. Self-paced Online Modules (Learners will be granted access 1-2 weeks prior to Day 1)

B. Live Online Instruction and Practice

Day 1 Agenda

Time Topic 
10:00 - 10:30 Introduction, Overview, & General Guidelines

Session 1
10:30 - 12:00 Intervention Introduction and CAMP
12:00 - 12:30 Caregiver Education: Taking Care of Self
12:30 - 12:45  Session Closure & Post Session: Worksheets and Clinical Reasoning 

Session 2
12:45 - 1:00
Session Introduction and Caregiver Education 
1:00 - 1:30  Lunch Break 
1:30 - 2:15 Depression Screen, PT Screen, Deep Breathing 
2:15 - 3:45 Problem-Solving & Brainstorming 
3:45 - 4:30  Group Activity - Share results of problem-solving & brainstorming 
4:30 - 5:00 Session 2 Closure 
5:00 - 5:30  Post Session: Worksheets and Clinical Reasoning, Questions from Day 1

Day 2 Agenda

Time Topic 
10:00 - 10:45  Follow up from Day 1 & Overview of Agenda
10:45 - 12:00  Action Plans

Session 3
12:00 - 1:00  Deliver Action Plan
1:00 - 1:30 Lunch Break 
1:30 - 2:00  Taking Care of Self 
2:00 - 2:15 Recap of sessions 1 - 3
2:15 - 2:45 Sessions 4+
2:45 - 3:15 Final Session 
3:15 - 4:00 Strategies for Collaborating with Caregivers
4:00 - 4:30 Beyond the Scope of Skills2Care & Roadmap
4:30 - 4:45 Post-Training Certification Requirements
4:45 - 5:15 Agency Logistics 
5:15 - 5:30 Complete Evaluation 

C. Live Online Coaching sessions (Learners are required to attend at least 5 of 6 scheduled 1-hour coaching calls over approximately 6 months)

Learning Objectives:

A. Self-paced Online Modules

After completing the Online Modules, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe components of the Skills2Care program.
  2. Explain how physical and social environmental factors contribute to behavioral symptoms in persons living with dementia.
  3. Describe importance of modifying approach to caregiver education based on caregiver factors including cultural background and life experiences. 
  4. Identify how caregiver values, beliefs, and principles can influence care decisions and concerns. 

B. Live Online Instruction and Practice

After completing Day 1 and Day 2 of Live Online Training Sessions, participants will be able to:

  1. Illustrate the five core treatment principles of Skills2Care.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate administration of caregiver assessments.
  3. Explain purpose and components of the Taking Care of Self protocol.
  4. Demonstrate the problem-solving approach to identify causes of behavioral symptoms or problem areas.
  5. Recognize the impact of caregiver readiness level on Skills2Care delivery approach.
  6. Create a Skills2Care Action Plan with strategies that match environmental factors, caregiver readiness level, and are culturally appropriate.
  7. Demonstrate each component of the Skills2Care program.

C. Live Online Coaching Sessions

After completing the Coaching Sessions and Case Report/Presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain and defend each component of the Skills2Care program.
  2. Relate caregiver level of readiness to Skills2Care delivery approach and progression.
  3. Interpret program effectiveness and modify delivery approach based on distinct case circumstances. 
  4. Summarize the core treatment principles, program components, and delivery procedures of the Skills2Care program.

Training Location, Times, & Dates

Location & Time of  Zoom Training 

Session  Location  Time
Day 1 Online Zoom Conference  10:00 AM ET - 5:30 PM ET
Day 2 Online Zoom Conference  10:00 AM ET - 5:30 PM ET

Registration Closes 2 Weeks Prior to Day 1 to allow time to complete online modules 

2023 Zoom Training Dates 

Month Day 1 Day 2 Registration Closes
February (Friday & Saturday) 17th 18th Feb. 3rd
April  (Friday & Saturday) 14th 15th March 31st
July (Friday & Saturday) 21st 22nd July 7th
October (Friday & Saturday) 20th  21st Oct. 6th

Additional 2023 Zoom Training Dates may be added depending on demand 

Training and Certification Fee Schedule

Training and initial two-year certification fees:

Number of Occupational Therapists Fee Per Person
2 to 5 $1900*
6 to 10 $1600*
11 or more $1300*

Fee includes access to Jefferson Elder Care's Skills2Care® website with documentation forms.

*Please contact us for discount code if registering 2 or more participants at info@dementiacollaborative.com

Two-year certification renewal fee: $200 per person.

**Fees are based on learners completing requirements within scheduled timeframe (approximately 6 months from "Day 1"). If learner does not complete all of the certification requirements by the last scheduled coaching call, learner may be responsible for additional fees.


The individual occupational therapist signs a License and Training Agreement. 

Evidence Supporting Skills2Care:

The Administration on Aging and Rosalynn Carter Institute recognize Skills2Care® as an evidence-based program delivered through aging service networks. 

Research to develop and test Skills2Care® has been supported by funds from the Administration on Aging, Alzheimer's Association, National Institutes of Health (NIMH, NIA, NINR), Pennsylvania Department of Health Tobacco Settlement, Farber Family Foundation, and the Rosalynn Carter/Johnson & Johnson initiative.2,4 


1. Earland, T.V. & Piersol, C.V. (2014). Translating research to practice in neurocognitive disorders: The experiences of Jefferson Elder Care. In M.A. Corcoran & G.M. Giles, Eds. Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD): Interventions to Support Occupational Performance. (pp. 265-274). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press. 

2. Gitlin, L.N., Hauck, W., Dennis, M., & Winter, L. (2005). Maintenance of effects of the Home Environmental Skill-building Program for family caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Journal of Gerontology, 60A, 368-374.

3. Gitlin, L.N., Jacobs, M., & Earland, T.V. (2010). Translation of a dementia caregiver intervention for delivery in homecare as a reimbursable Medicare service: Outcomes and lessons learned. The Gerontologist, 50, 847-854.

4. Gitlin, L. N., Winter, L., Dennis, M.P. Hodgson, N., & Hauck, W.W. (2010). Targeting and managing behavioral symptoms in individuals with dementia: A randomized trial of a nonpharmacological intervention. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58, 1463-1474.

5. Gitlin, L.N. & Piersol, C.V. (2014). A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia: Using Activities and Other Strategies to Prevent, Reduce and Manage Behavioral Symptoms. Philadelphia: Camino Books, Inc.

6. Gitlin, L.N., Earland, T.V., & Herge, E.A. (2012). Meeting the needs of caregivers of persons with dementia.: An important role for occupational therapist. OT Practice, 17 (5), 8-13. 

Speaker Disclosures: Rachel Wiley is the founder and owner of the Dementia Collaborative LLC and receives a salary for trainings and speaking engagements. 

Cancellation Policy: Please contact us at least 30 days prior to event at info@dementiacollaborative.com in order to receive a full refund. If you contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event, you can transfer your registration to someone else. You may choose to defer your enrollment to a later date if availability permits; however, you will no longer be eligible for a refund.  In the event that the provider must cancel the course, you will be provided a full refund and will be notified via email.

ADA Needs: We are happy to accommodate accessibility needs. Please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event at info@dementiacollaborative.com                                                        


Skills2Care® is a trademark of Thomas Jefferson University.  All rights reserved

The Dementia Collaborative LLC is an Authorized Licensee and Trainer of the Jefferson Skills2Care® Program