Registered Nurse Certificate Training Program: Geriatrics and Developmental Disabilities (DD)

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Institute (RRTI) has received funding from the federal Health and Human Services agency to offer a 6-session program focusing on geriatrics for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). This program is available only to Registered Nurses.

Training sessions are offered statewide via videoconferences held at over 15 OPWDD Developmental Disabilities Service Offices (DDSOs) at no cost to nurse participants. The half-day programs are presented by experts with up-to-date information on geriatrics and developmental disabilities (DD).

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the New York State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Centers Commission on Accreditation. 

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Session details are listed below, with instructor biographies available further down the page.


Session 1: Aging and Developmental Disabilities
This session will cover basic biological aging and specific risk factors based on the factors of aging interacting with preexisting disabilities. Topics will include the differences and similarities in the aging process among persons with DD and the general population; and syndrome specific factors that affect aging. Case studies will be presented as exemplars.
Instructor(s): Eileen Trigoboff, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, DNS, DABFN; Daniel Trigoboff, PhD
Session Date(s): 10/12/2012, 1/31/2013

Session 2: Geriatric Assessment
Assessment of any older person is very complex as there is the potential for numerous underlying conditions or diseases causing loss in an older person. It is often even more complex in people with DD as many cannot verbally communicate symptoms. Topics will include the process of assessing for specific symptoms; sensory processing or loss, specific assessments and appropriate follow ups. Case Studies will be presented as exemplars.
Instructor(s): Eileen Trigoboff, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, DNS, DABFN; Daniel Trigoboff, PhD
Session Date(s): 11/15/2012, 2/14/2013

Session 3: Medical Updates on Geriatrics and Developmental Disabilities
This session includes screening and preventative health strategies in the management of older individuals with disabilities and a review current findings in medical assessment of older individuals with disabilities, as well as a review of medical updates on diabetes, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular care, epilepsy/seizure management, gender-related illnesses, and bone health as they relate to geriatric individuals with DD. Case studies will be presented as exemplars.
Instructor(s): Eileen Trigoboff, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, DNS, DABFN; Daniel Trigoboff, PhD
Session Date(s): 11/29/2012, 3/7/2013

Session 4: Mental Health and Older Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Often older people with DD communicate physical health problems, poor environmental fit, or mental health problems through "inappropriate behaviors." In this session topics will include mental health issues and physical health concerns that involve behavioral changes. Case studies on Alzheimer's disease; substance abuse issues; aging and sensory loss; affective disorder; understanding treatment, therapies, and supports will be presented.
Instructor(s): Eileen Trigoboff, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, DNS, DABFN; Daniel Trigoboff, PhD
Session Date(s): 12/13/2012, 4/11/2013

Session 5: End-of-Life and Developmental Disabilities
End-of-life care refers to the plans, preferences, and expectations that individuals and family members envision for older persons with developmental disabilities. Topics will include the needs and care available regarding end of life care; promising strategies for improving care; palliative and hospice care; best practices and models; the role of nurses in advocacy for compassionate end-of-life practices and policies.
Instructor(s): Eileen Trigoboff, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, DNS, DABFN; Daniel Trigoboff, PhD
Session Date(s): 1/10/2013, 4/25/2013

Session 6: Cultural and Linguistic Competence   [ONLINE]
Nurses who assess and treat older individuals with developmental disabilities not only have to understand and appreciate the similarities and differences in the aging process among persons with developmental disabilities and the general population, but need to develop and integrate the skills, abilities, and behaviors needed to interact with people of different cultures. A video will be available on the RRTI website for participants in the Certificate Program to view as the last session of the training series. Topics in the video will include sensitive communication with individuals of different cultures, culturally appropriate and linguistically competent community health promotions and patient and family education; and specific actions to implement the new skills and practical application at service sites, especially in cross-cultural settings.
Instructor(s): Anne O'Brien Carelli, PhD
Session Date(s): (online)

Instructor biographies:

Daniel Trigoboff, PhD: Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in assessment and treatment of older adults in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and medical settings; Expertise in capacity determinations for elderly patients with cognitive, psychiatric, developmental, and medical disabilities; Experience with end-of-life decisions; an investigator chairing Root Cause Analyses of incidents occurring at patient care facilities

Eileen Trigoboff, RN, PMHCNS-BC, DNS, DABFN, CIP: Clinical Nurse Specialist in psychiatric nursing, Buffalo Psychiatric Center; recipient of National Institutes of Mental Health Individual National Research Service Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship in medication teaching and psychopharmacology; author of 13 nursing educations texts; Nurse of Distinction award for outstanding nurse clinicians