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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Anticipatory Mourning in Alzheimer’s Family Caregivers

by Lee Stadtlander, PhD 4 CE Credits

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses there are an increasing number of losses and changes in roles for the patient, as well as the caregiver. The change in role dynamics commonly leads to grieving and depression in the caregiver.  Memories of the past, changes in the present and fear of the future may affect the caregiver’s ability to cope with the current reality and may additionally pose potential danger to the patient. This course examines the nature and effects of anticipatory mourning in Alzheimer caregivers.  Specifically, expected losses and changes in the lives of the Alzheimer patient and caregiver are reviewed and appropriate interventions for health professionals to help caregivers cope with their mourning are presented.

Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 4 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Course Sections/Outline:
  • Introduction
  • AD Signs & Symptoms
  • Family Caregivers
  • Anticipatory Mourning: The Three Temporal Markers
  • Characteristics that Impact Anticipatory Mourning
  • Adaptational Demands to AD and Anticipatory Mourning: The Assessment
  • The Seven Operations of Anticipatory Mourning
  • Effects of Anticipatory Mourning on the Caregiver
  • Common Emotional Reactions in Anticipatory Mourning: The Associated Risks to the Patient and Strategies to Ameliorate Them
  • General Therapeutic Interventions
  • Summary
  • Web-based Resources
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define anticipatory mourning for caregivers in the Alzheimer’s context and indicate the three temporal markers in this process.
  • Discuss the three major categories of individual and relational factors that impact anticipatory mourning.
  • Articulate the seven operations of healthy anticipatory mourning.
  • Indicate five common emotional reactions in anticipatory mourning, the dangers to the Alzheimer’s patient, and associated interventions.