Assignment: Supporting Clients with Dementia or a Mental Health Disorder

Assignment Outline

The purpose of this assignment is to explore best practices for communicating with clients with dementia or mental health disorders.

Working in small groups, students will research a cognitive or mental health disorder of their choice. After completing the research, the groups will prepare an 8–10 minute presentation, with visual materials (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation or poster) and a short written handout to give to the class, addressing the following components:

  • Briefly describe the type of dementia or mental health disorder (causes, signs, and symptoms).
  • Describe how communication between a client with this diagnosis and an HCA may be impacted. Consider the elements of interpersonal communication (sender, receiver, message, feedback).
  • Demonstrate and/or describe a minimum of three communication strategies/techniques (verbal and non-verbal) that can be used by the HCA to enhance communication while providing care to the client.

You will be marked using the following criteria:

  • The ability of the team to thoroughly address the required components of the assignment (Total possible marks: 15/15).
  • The ability of the team to present the information in a thorough and engaging presentation (Total possible marks: 10/10). *Each group member will receive an individual mark based on delivery of a portion of the presentation.
  • The ability of the team to develop visual and written materials to support the presentation (Total possible marks: 5/5).

Online Resources

Rubric: Supporting Clients with Dementia or a Mental Health Disorder

Criteria Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Partially Meets Expectations Does Not Meet Expectations
1. Required Components

Possible Marks: 15/15

Required components are thoroughly and thoughtfully addressed Required components are adequately addressed Required components are partially addressed Required components are minimally, inadequately and/or not addressed
Briefly describe the type of dementia or mental health disorder The type of dementia or mental health disorder (causes, signs, and symptoms) are accurately and thoroughly described The type of dementia or mental health disorder is described, with some consideration of the causes, signs, and/or symptoms The type of dementia or mental health disorder is partially described. There may be important elements missing and/or some information may not be accurate The type of dementia or mental health disorder is minimally or not described and/or Information is not accurate
5 4 2-3 0-1
Describe how the diagnosis or symptoms may impact communication between the client and HCA How the diagnosis or symptoms may impact the ability to communicate is thoroughly described. The basic elements of interpersonal communication (sender, receiver, message, feedback) are considered How the diagnosis or symptoms may impact the ability to is described, with some consideration for the basic elements of interpersonal communication There is a partial description of how the diagnosis or symptoms may impact the ability of the client to communicate and/or the basic elements of interpersonal communication How the diagnosis or symptoms may impact communication and the basic elements of communication are minimally or not addressed
5 4 2-3 0-1
Describe and/or demonstrate a minimum of three communication techniques (verbal and non-verbal) that could be used by an HCA to communicate with the client A minimum of three appropriate communication techniques are fully demonstrated and/or described. Both verbal and non-verbal techniques are included. The value of each approach for the current context is fully explored Two to three communication techniques are described and/or demonstrated. Verbal and/or non-verbal techniques are considered There is a partial description of one to three communication techniques that may or may not be appropriate for the context There is minimal coverage of communication techniques and/or suggestions are not appropriate
5 4 2-3 0-1
2. Presentation

Possible Marks: 15/15

Delivery

*Individual mark

 

The presentation is delivered in an engaging manner. The speaker uses appropriate eye contact, appears relaxed and confident and speaks with appropriate volume and tone. There is a clear understanding of the subject matter, as evidenced by responses to questions from the audience The presentation is presented in a somewhat engaging manner. Eye contact, body language, tone and volume is satisfactory. Some reference may be made to notes. There is a good understanding of the subject matter The speaker sometimes demonstrates eye contact with the audience, speaks in an uneven or low tone and mostly reads from their notes. Audience engagement is minimal The presentation is delivered in a manner that does not interest or engage the audience or is inappropriate
5 4 2-3 0-1
3. Teamwork and Organization The group works well together to prepare and deliver the presentation.

Tasks are appropriately
divided between group members and there is evidence of respectful collaboration between group members.

Components of the
presentation are delivered in a logical sequence within the time frame allotted.

The group works together to prepare and/or deliver the presentation.

The division of tasks is satisfactory and there is evidence of adequate collaboration between group members.

Components of the presentation are delivered in a logical sequence and/or within the time frame allotted.

The team partially works together to prepare and/or deliver the presentation.

The division of tasks is not balanced and there is a low level of collaboration between group members.

Components of the presentation may not be delivered in a logical sequence and/or not delivered within the time frame allotted.

There is minimal to no evidence that the team has worked together to prepare or deliver the presentation.

The division of tasks is not balanced and there appears to be a low level of collaboration between group members.

The presentation is not delivered in a logical sequence or within the time frame allotted.

5 4 2-3 0-1
4. Visual Materials and Student Handout Visual materials and student handout are attractive and organized, with appropriate headings and formatting. There are minimal mistakes in spelling/grammar.

Resources used are identified and appropriately referenced.[1]

Visual materials and student handout are presented in organized manner with appropriate headings. There may be a few mistakes in spelling/grammar.

Resources used are identified and appropriately referenced.

Visual materials and/or student handout are not clearly tied to the presentation. There may be mistakes in spelling/grammar.

Resources used are identified and appropriately referenced.

Visual materials are minimally or not adequate or resources are not appropriately referenced.
5 4 2-3 0-1
Total Possible Marks:

30/30

Note: This sample tool has been included to align with Suggested Course Assessment 3 for the Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges.

Download Rubric: Supporting Clients with Dementia or a Mental Health Disorder [PDF].


  1. For any assignment requiring referencing of resources, it would be expected that the program would indicate the referencing style (e.g., APA) to be used and provide the necessary instruction and supporting materials for students to be successful in this criterion of the assignment. It would also be expected that referencing resources would be included as a criteria in the marking rubric, with placement depending on the parameters of the assignment. criteria of the assignment. It would also be expected that referencing resources would be included as a criteria in the marking rubric, with placement depending on the parameters of the assignment.