CARES® Dementia Specialist (C.D.S.) Credentialing Program

Play Video

What is the C.D.S. credential?

The CARES® Dementia Specialist (C.D.S.) credential is a way to super charge your dementia care knowledge and be recognized for completing the entire CARES® online dementia care training curriculum (8 courses/40 hours/40 modules) and passing the C.D.S. credentialing exam.

Play Video

What is the C.D.S. process?

Over 1 Million

Modules Completed


Quality, Online Dementia Care Training


National e-Healthcare Leadership Awards


Published CARES® Journal Articles

Customer Testimonial

The CARES Dementia Specialist (C.D.S.) online dementia care training gave me realistic tools and approaches to use—a true ‘toolbox.’ I now feel confident in how to problem solve when working with someone who has dementia!

Emily E. Gibson, C.D.S.
Life Enrichment Director
Menominee, WI

Frequently Asked Questions - CARES® Dementia Specialist™ (C.D.S.)

The CARES Dementia Specialist (C.D.S.) program is a way for you to be recognized professionally for completing the entire CARES® online dementia care training curriculum (8 courses/40 modules/40 hours) and passing the C.D.S. credentialing exam.

The CARES® online training programs are 7 professional training programs and 1 family training program (8 courses/40 modules/40 hours) that encompass more than 20 years of research and training in the field of dementia care. CARES brings you the most current, effective, and applicable dementia care techniques and practices using quality person-centered care approaches guided by the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. These programs were developed alongside the top dementia care researchers at New York University, Emory University, and the University of Minnesota.

Video footage of dementia experts, actual caregivers, real people living with dementia (no actors), and family members from over 100 facilities across 25 different states provide a level of authenticity not found in any other online dementia training. After completing the C.D.S. credentialing program, you will be able to make observations in your own care facility, organization, or client’s home about how to improve the quality of dementia care in different environments and settings.

As a professional, this credentialing program allows you to be recognized for completing the highest quality dementia care training in the country and become a dementia care leader in your workplace or community. You will become more adept at connecting with the individual, understanding different types of behavior as communication, and helping the individual through their daily life by having learned new techniques and mindsets.

After completing the C.D.S. requirements and being approved, you will be able to use the C.D.S. credential after your name, on your resume, and on a business card. You will receive a C.D.S. recognition package including an official letter of recognition and a CARES Dementia Specialist lapel pin. You will also be placed on our international registry.

Your listing on the C.D.S. International Registry will allow you to be recognized and set yourself apart from your peers. Individuals who have completed the C.D.S. program report gaining new job positions or promotions after receiving their credential.

To earn your C.D.S. credential, you need to complete the following steps:

    1. Complete all eight CARES Online Training Programs:
      • CARES® Dementia 5-Step Method
      • CARES® Dementia Safety Topics
      • CARES® Dementia-Related Behavior
      • CARES® Activities of Daily Living
      • CARES® End-of-Life Dementia Care
      • CARES® Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention
      • CARES® Serious Mental Illness
      • CARES® Dementia 5-Step Method for Families
    1. Take and pass the 100-point C.D.S. credentialing exam with 90% or higher correct.
      (If you do not pass the exam, you can take it again at no additional cost.)
    2. Submit your documentation for approval.

The C.D.S. program is flexible, and allows you to choose when you’d like to start a course. You will have 10 days to complete each of the CARES programs, and can take as much time as you need to complete the course in that 10 day window. Begin with CARES Dementia Basics, and then complete the other CARES courses in any order.

Once approved, your C.D.S. Credential is good for two years. Approximately three months before your expiration date, you will receive an automated e-mail encouraging you to begin the renewal process.

The C.D.S. professional credentialing program is available for only $799.00 per person. This includes 40 hours of CARES online dementia-care training, the credentialing exam, the C.D.S. recognition package, and a listing on the C.D.S. International Registry!

You can pay with a credit card for immediate access. Or, mail in your payment when it is the most convenient for you (you will have access to the program within 1 business day of when your check arrives).

  • Previous CARES Customers: If you have previously completed any of the CARES courses above, you qualify for a discount. Call us at (952) 928-7722 and we will assist you with placing your order.
  • CARES Complete Catalog Subscribers: If your organization subscribes to the CARES Complete Catalog, you already have access to all of the online programs required for the C.D.S. Call us at (952) 928-7722 for special pricing on the C.D.S. Credentialing Exam Voucher.

Yes! We understand that financing your credentialing program can be difficult for some individuals. We offer a payment plan that breaks the credentialing requirements into three parts:

  • The first 4 CARES Courses – $324.50
  • The second 4 CARES Courses – $324.50
  • The C.D.S. Exam Voucher – $150.00

To set up a payment plan, please create a new account at, and then call us at (952) 928-7722.

If you have questions, please call us at (952) 928-7722 or e-mail us at