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Understanding Memory/Cognitive Impairment as Part of the Aging Process: The Role of Therapy

Presented by Maxwell Perkins, MS, OTR/L

Course Description

Clients who have cognitive/memory impairment present a challenge to therapists who are often at a loss as to how to provide “appropriate” intervention. Therapy often involves not only dealing with the client but also with their family, who is struggling to understand the cognitive/behavioral changes they are seeing in their loved one. This evidence based course is for anyone who wants to develop a better understanding of cognitive/memory impairments associated with the aging process. You will earn about normal versus abnormal cognitive/memory deficits as humans age, and the factors that both contribute to and prevent cognitive/memory decline. Content will cover the spectrum of age related cognitive/memory decline from normal memory loss to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to end stage Alzheimer’s and the behavioral characteristics of each. Emphasis will be on MCI through moderate Alzheimer’s and the role of executive functions related to impairment. The most up to date information on brain plasticity, cognitive reserve and intervention strategies will be presented. This course includes extensive resource information and group breakout activities as part of the overall presentation. The course is designed to provide clinicians with assessment/intervention strategies that can immediately be implemented.

Learning Objectives

Participants will develop an understanding of:
  • Cognitive/memory deficit classifications and characteristics
  • Cognitive/memory decline progression associated with the aging process
  • Evidence based information on computer based intervention programs
  • Contributing factors to cognitive/memory impairment
  • Common cognitive assessments
  • Allen Cognitive Level Screen
  • Prevention strategies for cognitive/memory decline including: Role of exercise, diet and cognitive activities as intervention strategies
  • Concepts of: Cognitive Reserve; brain plasticity and dual taking 
  • Treatment intervention strategies and resources available 


Perkins_MaxwellMaxwell Perkins MS, OTR/L earned his BS in occupational therapy 1984 from the Medical College of Georgia. He obtained an MS in Health Care Policy and Administration from Mercer University in 1994 and has worked in a variety of clinical settings (acute/inpatient, outpatient and SNF).

Max has extensive experience with interdisciplinary clinical management focusing on a geriatric population. He co-authored the article: Interdisciplinary Team Approach in the Rehabilitation of Hip/Knee Arthroplasties which was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
His most recent clinical positions have been serving as the Rehab Education Director for two large health care organizations, where he completed extensive training on this subject. In addition, Max has presented workshops at both the local, regional and state level. Max is a guest lecturer in occupational therapy at Pacific University in Forrest Grove Oregon and in physical therapy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington.  


  • Providence/Swedish Employees-  $100
  • Non-Providence/Swedish Employees-  $200

Course Information

  • February 6, 2016
  • 8 Contact Hours
  • Appropriate Audience:  PT, OT, ST and assistants


David Howell, OTR/L, Rehab Education Manager
(360) 486-6992

Registration Instructions:

Register Online or contact David Howell at david.howell@providence.org

What People are Saying about this Course

“Max is a great, engaging instructor. The info is interesting and useful. I enjoyed the course than I thought I would!”

“Very important info- good resources to carry back to work!!”

“Excellent instructor, engaging & kept attention. Very excited about how applicable info will be for therapy & patients.”

“Good resource examples to browse & addendum. Appreciate break up of sessions – hard to sit”

“Great video. Resources were well organized and applicable.”

“Liked multiple forms of teaching- visual, audio, written. Engaging teaching style, despite more lecture based course.”

“Max was engaging & encouraged audience participation in a fun way. He is passionate about the topic.”

“Enjoyed his presentation style and sense of humor. Appreciate his use of real life examples to explain a concept.”

“Engaging instruction. Highly pertinent. Love all of the examples.”

“Enjoyed the instructor- made the day go by fast. Good material- will be able to apply this in therapy & in personal life.”

“Thank you for a very informative and enjoyable class. You are a great resource for the region. The depth, breadth, and applicability of the information was excellent!”

“For a lecture course very interesting material and instructor kept things interesting with prizes/interactive nature.”

“Great presenter! Lots of information we need to start implementing in acute/OP/IPR OT programs. Love it that we have to stay engaged!”

“Excellent information. Very helpful. Will incorporate some info in daily PT practice.”

“Good flow to presentation with good evidence based suggestions to implement clinically. Thanks!”

“Thanks for your humor and enthusiasm.”