Geriatric and Adult Specialty Team (GAST) Training Catalog

Partners’ Geriatric and Adult Specialty Team (GAST) is charged with increasing the community’s knowledge and understanding of mental health and substance use issues facing older adults. Beginning January 1, 2024, Partners Health Management will provide Geriatric Adult Specialty Team (GAST) services in Catawba, Burke, Iredell, Surry and Yadkin counties. The team of registered nurses, licensed clinicians and mental health professionals host educational events and FREE training sessions.

For more information or to schedule a training please contact: 704-884-2504 or GAST@partnersbhm.org.

Who We Train:

  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Senior Centers
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Meals on Wheels Programs
  • Adult Day Care
  • Veteran Affairs Staff
  • Department of Social Services
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Law Enforcement and Judicial System
  • EMS/First Responders
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Area Agencies on Aging

What We Train:

  • How to Assist People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
  • How to Communicate to Individuals with Dementia and Mental Illness
  • Behavioral Intervention and Crisis Planning/Resources
  • Understanding How Alzheimer’s Changes People
  • Dealing with Difficult Behaviors in a Care Setting
  • Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder in the Elderly
  • Elder Substance Abuse and Use
  • End of Life and Mental Illness
  • Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Dementia and Mental Illness
  • Suicide Indicators, Response and Prevention
  • Medication Courses
  • Hoarding and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Mental Health 101
  • Psychotic Disorders

GAST On-Demand Training

Partners’ GAST has developed a series of “on-demand” trainings that focus on the impacts of stress and isolation which you can fit into your schedule at the time that works best for you. Each training is approximately one hour. PDFs are available for each associated training.

Coping Skills: Taking Care of Yourself in Times of Stress

This training helps you understand what coping skills are and how they can help reduce stress. You will learn positive coping strategies to deal with stress and overwhelming emotions. By the end of the training, you should better understand how to use positive self-talk to change feelings and cope with anxiety.

Caregiver Stress and COVID-19

Caring for elderly family or friends can be stressful, especially during a pandemic. In this course, you will learn ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. You will also learn that there are steps you can take to reduce the stress and challenges that occur when a person with dementia’s daily life and routine are disrupted. This course discusses the importance of social connections and provides ideas for activities to keep elderly loved ones engaged and thriving.

COVID-19 and Anxiety in the Elderly

Nearly 30% of adults have anxiety at some point in their lives. When entire countries shut down due to a pandemic, it can be frightening. All of us are wondering, “What is going to happen next?” For many people, the uncertainty is the hardest thing. All of this makes it easy to catastrophize and spiral into overwhelming panic. In this course, you will learn you can manage anxiety and fears. Participants will learn different types of anxiety, the possible impacts of COVID-19 on elderly, and available treatments and coping skills.

Dementia Basics and COVID-19

This training goes beyond learning the basics of dementia and offers tips on dealing with dementia during the COVID-19 crisis. You will learn the definition of dementia, the common forms, and tips that will help you communicate with people with dementia. Common behaviors are discussed as well as prevention and treatment options.

Social Isolation in the Elderly

While social isolation in the elderly is always a concern, it is even more so as people are staying at home due to COVID-19. This training teaches the difference between isolation and loneliness. This training will help you recognize the risks of isolation in the elderly and how to help reduce those risks.

Stress Response & Self-Care

Taking care of ourselves is always important. During stressful, uncertain times it is imperative. This training will teach you how to recognize the symptoms of stress and the physical effects and will provide tips to help you manage stress, including relaxation techniques.

For more information or to schedule a training please contact: 704-884-2504 or GAST@partnersbhm.org.

Updated: December 1, 2023