Essentials of Person-Centered Memory Care - California Department of Aging



OpusVi was selected as a recipient of the CalGrows Innovation Fund, the California Department of Aging’s Direct Care Workforce Training and Stipends Program. The grant allowed OpusVi to offer its Essentials of Person-Centered Memory Care program, recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association®️, to the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce in over 27 different organizations across California as they provide care to the over 690,000 Californians living with dementia.

The Challenge

Despite the 11 million Americans providing unpaid care for people living with dementia (PxLD), California faces a direct care labor shortage that is expected to rise to 3.2 million workers in the coming years as retention rates continue to plummet. Training options to help the HCBS workforce better serve clients and advance their skills are limited, and too often, caregivers aren’t adequately prepared to provide care to those living with dementia.

How We Did It

OpusVi’s Essentials of Person-Centered Memory Care program takes a person-centered approach to memory care and successfully incorporates evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations across several key care areas including assessment and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication, equipping learners with tools to improve patient safety and reduce caregiver burnout.

The program curriculum was translated into four additional languages (Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog), to provide inclusive delivery to the most common languages spoken in the state including Latino, Indigenous, Black and Asian/Pacific Islander populations.



As of June 2024, 2,600+ California caregivers have completed the Essentials of Person-Centered Memory Care program, and of those graduates:


would recommend this program to another caregiver


stated they are more confident using strategies to de-escalate and re-direct challenging behaviors.


stated they are confident in knowing how to keep people living with dementia safe.


stated they understand the principles of person-centered care and can apply these principles to their daily work.

This program not only provided caregivers with the tools they need to offer quality care but also set caregivers up for career advancement as graduates of this program are also eligible to take the certification exam with the Alzheimer’s Association to become essentiALZ® certified.

"Providing essential, ongoing training opportunities to our staff, helps improve the quality of care we provide for the participants and families we serve in our community and Adult Day Health Program. We are optimistic that being a part of the Memory Care Orientation: Essentials of Person-Centered Care will stimulate interest in servicing older vulnerable adults in our industry.”

 - Melissa Gerard - ADCRC Program Manager - Collabria Care (A Providence Company)

“I like that it was easy to learn and I like how all the quizzes had questions from all the prior lessons as well because it was like drilling it into my head over and over again. If it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would’ve remembered as much as I did.”

   - Terri Newton, IHSS Caretaker

“Although I have been a caregiver for 38 years, I learned new ideas and new methods that I look forward to trying with my clients.”

 - Sperk, Home Health Aide

“What I like more about this course is that it is self-paced. I was able to continue on this course at my own speed and have time to write down and practice as much information as I could. Also, I enjoyed the videos that demonstrated each scenario which made it easier to learn what to do and how to go about things when I am in a difficult situation.”

 - Sharina Leota, Caregiver, Home Instead Senior Care

About The California Department of Aging 

The California Department of Aging (CDA) administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. These programs are funded through the federal Older Americans Act, the Older Californians Act, and the Medi-Cal program. CDA actively collaborates with many other State departments (and other entities) on transportation, housing, and accessibility, emergency preparedness and response, wellness, and nutrition, falls and injury prevention, improving services to persons with dementia, reducing fraud and abuse, and many other issues.