Teaching Case Studies: Managing Aberrant Behavior In Patients With Dementia
Title: Patients with Dementia Are Easily Distracted

Published in the journal, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine
In Joint Providership with Sage Publishing

Goals and Objectives

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is the middle ground between normal, age-appropriate memory impairment and dementia. Whereas patients with MCI are able to cope with the memory deficit those with dementia are not: their memory impairment and other cognitive deficits are of sufficient magnitude to interfere with the patients’ ability to cope independently with daily activities.

In both MCI and dementia there is evidence of declining cognitive functions from a previously higher level of functioning. In both conditions there also is evidence of dysfunction in one or more cognitive domains. There are two subtypes of MCI depending on whether memory is predominantly affected: amnestic type and non-amnestic/behavioral type. Not all patients with MCI transition to dementia, some recover.

In this case scenario we present a 68 years old man with MCI who lives with his wife. They are getting ready to host dinner. His wife asks him to vacuum the dining room while she runs an urgent errand. We describe how this simple task: vacuuming a room ended in a catastrophe with the patient spending the night in jail and his wife hospitalized. We discuss what went wrong in the patient/wife interaction and how the catastrophic ending could have been avoided. Upon completion of the activity, providers should be able to:

  • Apply the material addressed in the scenario when advising caregivers seeking help with similar situations.
  • Provide advice to caregivers about how to avoid aberrant behaviors from developing, escalating, and erupting, along with steps that can be taken to prevent it from occurring.

Important Note:

Before beginning this CME activity, you  must review the article in its entirety, located here:
Patients with Dementia Are Easily Distracted



R. C. Hamdy, MD1 , A. Kinser, PhD1 , A. Depelteau, PhD1 , T. Kendall-Wilson, RN1,2 , J. V. Lewis, MD1 , and K. Whalen, BA1

1East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA
2Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

Course Information

CME Release Date: May 7th, 2018
Content Reviewed: April 3, 2019
Valid for credit through: May 7th, 2020
Course type:  Journal CME

Credits Available

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Southern Medical Association and SAGE Publishing. Southern Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Southern Medical Association designates this Journal CME Activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.  All healthcare professionals who are not MDs or DOs will receive a certificate of participation.

 Instructions for Participation and Credit

This activity is designed to be completed within the time designated; learners should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period noted, following these steps:

  • Read the goals and objectives, accreditation information, and author disclosures.
  • Study the educational content and references.
  • Online, choose the best answer to each test question. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score of 80%.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and attestation.

Upon successful completion of the test, evaluation and attestation, your certificate will be processed and emailed from [email protected] within approximately 1 hour. Credits will be archived for 6 years; at any point within this time period you may login to your account to print a duplicate copy of your certificate.

Course Materials


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