DAWN Dementia Trainer Certification
The DAWN Trainer certification program is designed to train those who have been previously certified in the DAWN Method as DAWN Dementia Care Specialists and who work directly with people who are experiencing dementia. Being a medical professional or having a graduate degree is not required. You simply need experience with more than one person who is experiencing dementia and the desire to help families and caregivers learn how to provide kinder, more supportive dementia care at home.
DAWN Trainers serve as dementia consultants to families as well as teach our DAWN Private Dementia Care Class for Families to individual families live over video. All classes are taught over an 8-week period with recordings provided to the family.
DAWN Certified Dementia Trainers
Jill Couch, MS, OT/L, DDCS
Certified Dementia Practitioner
Certified Beyond Driving with Dignity
Better People Care LLC
Pro31 Safe Senior Driver LLC
My Grandmother grew up in a sod house on a homestead in Western Nebraska. Years later, she and my Grandfather would purchase part of this homestead and farm and ranch there for decades. This ranch, and my grandparents, were profound parts of my growing up.
I watched my Grandmother fade from this life with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and this spurred me to develop my Occupational Therapy career to become trained as a DAWN Dementia Care Specialist and certified DAWN Trainer. After watching my grandmother’s painful demise, I am so grateful to finally know how to get it right with dementia, to bring hope and help to families walking the dementia journey. This work with older folks, especially since becoming trained in the DAWN Method, has been the most meaningful season of my varied Occupational Therapy career.
I am honored to bring my professional background, as well as my history with the United States Army ROTC and service in the Army Reserve, and various other leadership and volunteer experiences, to the work I do with families.
I was asked recently how I work with dementia every day. My response was, “It is because I know the DAWN Method, and how to use the tools of the DAWN Method well, that I find such meaning and hope in what I do.” I understand and put into practice every day how we can provide care for folks with dementia in a way that brings them security, and joy, and beauty, and gives their families hope that dementia doesn’t mean that life is over.
Every day I see the tools of the DAWN Method bring to folks with dementia the security and well-being they deserve. When I have the privilege to teach the DAWN Method to families, I watch them find hope and become able to truly make daily life better for their loved ones with dementia, and themselves.
It is my honor to be a DAWN Method Trainer and Consultant, and help families and caregivers make this world a more dementia-aware, dementia-friendly place.
Jill CouchTake a private dementia care class with Jill
Ruth Minnema, RN, MA, DDCS
Perspectives Coaching LLC
Prior to becoming a registered nurse, Ruth spent several years as an experiential educator working with troubled teenagers in an outdoor program. She loved high energy education and thought she found the perfect job. Life had other plans and Ruth became a registered nurse. After spending the next 30+ years in a variety of leadership positions in Long Term Care, she again found the perfect job. As a Certified Coach, DAWN Trainer and owner of Perspectives Coaching LLC, she enjoys providing strength-based DAWN dementia education and coaching to families. Ruth is also available to support communities who wish to implement the DAWN Method. DAWN workshops are interactive as participants practice skills necessary to support people living with dementia at home or in a community.
Take a private dementia care class with Ruth
People living with dementia are our best teachers. My mom was a gifted musician, language scholar and therapist. Despite progressive dementia, she taught me what is important. If I asked her a question like what she had for lunch, she would remind me that she didn’t remember what she just ate and add ‘does it really matter anyway?’
“Based on understanding not only cognitive skills that are lost, but also those that remain and become strengths, the DAWN Method offers opportunities for both people experiencing dementia and their companions to learn together. This is experiential education at its best.~ Ruth Minnema
Teri Skoog, DDCS
Elder Care Consultant
Skoog Dementia Support LLC
AGE-u-cate Dementia Live Coach
BA Social Work
Certificate Aging Studies
Teri is founder and owner of Skoog Dementia Support LLC. She has over 30 years’ experience providing support and care to individuals experiencing dementia along with their family and caregivers. Teri received her BA in Social Work and Aging Studies from the University of Iowa. She is a DAWN Dementia Care Specialist and DAWN Trainer.
In addition to her professional credentials, Teri personally experienced the role of caregiver for her mother who lived and died with diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia. Her passion is to assist and inspire those experiencing dementia to maintain dignity, purpose and hope as they age in place. She strives to create a community of empathetic care partners and companions who will walk alongside those experiencing life changing diagnosis and/or conditions through a strength-based, habilitative approach to care and support.
Teri provides virtual and in person training, consultation, care management and direct in-home companionship.
Take a private dementia care class with Teri
I am excited to be a Trainer for The DAWN Method. In the years I have interacted with individuals experiencing dementia I have studied and incorporated many models of dementia care into my work, but none address the true understanding of those experiencing the condition with more dignity, insight and humanity than The DAWN Method®.~ Teri Skoog, DDCS