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This webinar session was aimed at improving communication with the elderly who have dementia. Dr. Fernandes taught on the verbal and non-verbal projections we use during communication and how that is perceived by persons with dementia. Project participants learned verbal expression skills such as:

  • Slow down and speak clearly
  • Aim for understanding
  • Engage
  • Don’t argue – distract and redirect
  • Be patient, kind and supportive


Students were introduced to the Eden Alternative Principles, a philosophy that promotes “the well-being of Elders and their care partners by transforming the communities in which they live and work.” The goal is to eliminate loneliness, boredom and helplessness.
“Strengths and Gifts of the Elderly”:  Despite the many challenges elderly people face, the students were taught to seek out and learn of the positives of old age. With old age comes an accumulation of practical wisdom and good judgement that can be passed down to generations.Type your paragraph here.

Project Tausi Feagaiga’s Webinar classes provide a live online educational experience for project participants. Our instructor, Dr. Rittabell Fernandes is livestreamed from Hawaii. She conducts a morning and afternoon session for the students who are also full time employees at Hope House. Students are provided with classroom time at the Pacific Youth and Community Development Conference Room. In addition to receiving a hands on learning experience at Hope House, participants are engaging in meaningful instruction presented by qualified trainers.



Gout is a widespread health challenge suffered by many elderly persons. In this webinar class, Dr. Fernandes gave an overview of Gout, its complications as well the dietary recommendation for this disease. Student assignments are to promote patient and family teaching about Gout. Patient and family teaching helps to empower those affected by any illness. Showcase of these assignments are featured in the August webinar class.

Also during the month of July a training was conducted by Sandra Scanlan, P.T on July 21, 2016 at the Men and Women’s Unit at Hope House.  During this class, students were taught on the basics of transfer using a manual Hoyer Lift. The students learned the various parts, function, safety features as well as the safe transfer of residents using this equipment. Hands-on training is an essential part of the experiential learning process for Project Tausi Feagaiga. The Hoyer Lift training provided a practical opportunity for students to engage in acquiring and applying knowledge skill sets. The participants practiced hoisting and transferring a volunteer student under the direct supervision of Scanlan, as part of a return demonstration for skill management.


A vital part of any health care training is the equipping of its service providers with knowledge to empower them to protect their clients as well as themselves. Our Infection Control education afforded the project participants the opportunity to increase their knowledge in the application of Universal Precautions. The students learned the different aspects of Universal Precautions including modes of transmission, portals of entry, usage of Personal Protective Equipment and the general guidelines in the disposal of biological waste.  The double webinar sessions were instructed by Dr. Rittabell Fernandes and General Surgeon, Dr. Robert Gayapa, respectively. The participants were also able to showcase presentations on patient teaching as part of their July assignment on Gout.


This was the official launch of Project Tausi Feagaiga as we welcomed the trainers from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. Lead trainer Dr. Fernandes was accompanied by Dr. Nafanua Braginsky, Dr. Bretty Flynn, Dr. Lam Nguyen and Dr. Shellie Williams. This training session was special as it provided an opportunity for project participants to fully engage in a one week hands on and classroom instruction. The following list details the instruction received by the students:

Monday May 16:

Principles of Adult Teaching and Learning Role Play – Dr. Shellie Williams

Cultural Aspects of Caregiving – Panel of Speakers: Bishop Peter H. Brown, Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga, Esq. and Beatrice Block, Project Manager
Normal Aging, General Prinicples in Caring for the Elderly – Dr. Ritabell Fernades
Arthritis and Fall Prevention – Dr. Lam Nguyen

Tuesday, May 17

Gait and Transformation, Live Demonstration – Part 1 and 2 – Sandra Scanlan, P.T.
Activities of Daily Living- Part 1: Dressing, Bathing and Grooming – Dr. Nafanua Braginsky

Wednesday, May 18

Activities of Daily Living Part 2: Oral Care, Dental Hygiene and Grooming
Pain and Symptom Management – Dr. Shellie Williams
Nutrition and Dining – Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes

Thursday, May 19

Managing Difficutl Behaviors – Dr. Lam Nguyen
Wound Care and Bedsore Prevention – Dr. Brett Flynn
Common Medical Problems – Dr. Brett Flynn

Friday, May 20

Relieving Caregiver and Family Stress and
Resources and Asses Mapping -  Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes.


Reverend Deborah Ball, Islands’ Hospice Spiritual Counselor presented on the Non Violent Communication Model authored by Mark Rosenberg.  The objectives:

  • To understand Non Violent Communication
  • To understand “Deep Listening” and
  • Improve communication practices at Hope House.

Students were given the opportunity to apply these communication techniques by spending time with an elderly resident and implementing Rosenberg’s practice of:

  • Asking before offering reassurance or advice
  • Don’t just do something, be there
  • Getting in touch with unmet needs is important to the healing process.