Joshua Freitas began his career in music therapy, and was inspired to dedicate himself to working with seniors after an elderly client lost her ability to play piano due to dementia, but was able to regain her skill with 6 months of therapy.
Now a longtime senior-care worker and author of The Dementia Concept, Joshua was recognized as the 2016 Educator of the Year by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP).
The award paid tribute to Joshua's passion for education, his talent for creating positive work environments for his staff, and his skills at training healthcare professionals and other frontline staff, bringing to life the NCCDP’s “Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Care Curriculum.”
“The most successful educational program that I run is called a ‘Walk in Their Shoes,’ which is a dementia simulation where someone experiences what it is like to live with dementia firsthand, while at the same time learning about the aging process,” says Joshua, earned a master's degree in education from Lesley in 2016.
Joshua is the reflections and engagement manager for LCB Senior Living, a senior housing company headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts. He's currently building a training program to allow other organizations to offer it to their associates.
“The response from all of this community outreach has been amazing,” he reflects. “Attendees have personally called me to let me know that these trainings have improved their ability to take care of someone with dementia as well as better manage their care and quality of life.”
There is high demand for these services, he says. Since he started offering the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Seminar to healthcare professionals, he has trained “over 400 people—both associates and professionals—within the past eight months,” he says. The seminar is a National Dementia Certification Program through the National Council of Credited Dementia Practitioners.
Joshua is a certified Dementia Practitioner and a certified Alzheimer's disease Dementia Care Trainer through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioner.