Circle of Harmony: Training for Dementia Caregivers

Free videos that offer training for dementia caregivers, both professional and family, answer questions and provide solutions to the challenges they face on a daily basis.  As all caregivers know, caring for a cognitively impaired person offers a unique set of frustrations and stresses.

A new educational YouTube channel by COPSA – Comprehensive Services on Aging — at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, recently came online. COPSA recognizes the difficulties shared by dementia caregivers, and has produced a series of videos, available on its educational YouTube channel.

The Circle of Harmony: Training for Dementia Caregivers

The first is “Circle of Harmony: Managing Behavioral Disturbances in Adult Day Dementia Programs,” a 66-minute video that teaches adult day care professionals successful approaches.[1] It includes vignettes and interviews with clients and professionals. It was designed to assist Adult Day Care Program professionals in creating a harmonious atmosphere by preventing behavior problems and maximizing the functional level of people with dementia.

Mary Anne Ross, Coordinator of the COPSA Statewide Resource Center and Helpline (800 424-2494) says, “The film helps family members make sense of the baffling changes they see in their loved ones.”

Opened in 1982, The COPSA Day Program was the first specialized dementia day care program in New Jersey. As a university-based program, it incorporates the latest research into practice in its daily work and has now produced this training for dementia caregivers. Mary Catherine Lundquist, Coordinator of the COPSA Day Program, says, “COPSA Day Program’s practices are rooted in fundamental beliefs. We believe:

  • every human being, no matter how impaired, has the ability to love and be loved.
  • every person has an enduring sense of self and a need to be in harmony with his or her environment
  • our work with caregivers is as important as our work with our clients.

A free workbook, which is colorful, easy to follow, and full of helpful information, accompanies the film. It can be downloaded at ( Included are exercises which reinforce what is taught in the video.

The second and third videos are “Bridges: A Toolkit for Day Program Professionals and Family Caregivers.”  Bridges is a series of two videos, the first of which educates adult day program staff on how to create a supportive partnership with family caregivers. (22 minutes) Dementia day care is a relatively new phenomenon, presenting benefits and advantages to both caregiver and cared-for. “As time goes by, we learn more about its benefits for both caregivers and people with dementia.” The COPSA video series is designed to educate dementia caregivers on the benefits of Adult Day Programs to both themselves and their cognitive-impaired loved ones, and to educate professionals on how to best serve those symbiotic partnerships.

Training for Dementia Caregivers
Video Training Enhances Caregiving Experience

The second video,  family members’ training for dementia caregivers, teaches how to work with adult day program staff to provide the best possible care for their loved one, is 29 minutes long.

For Dementia Caregivers: If you are caring for someone with dementia, please keep a couple of points in mind as you watch this video. There are many kinds of dementia and the course of the illness for each individual can be very different. We have portrayed a wide variety of cognitive deficits and behavior problems in this film. Not every one with a dementia will develop these symptoms. Your loved may never demonstrate the behaviors portrayed in “The Circle of Harmony.” 

If your loved one does develop behavior problems, the techniques demonstrated in this training for dementia caregivers film can easily be adopted for home.


The COPSA Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease is supported by a generous grant from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Please click this link to watch these videos.



[1] Family caregivers find it extremely helpful too.


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