Now What? Approaches in Elder & Dementia Care

It is increasingly recognized that pharmacological treatments for the elderly, especially with dementia, should be used as a second-line approach. Non-pharmacological options should, in best practice, be pursued first. This NET Connects program is the eighth installment in the Now What? series. Through studio panel discussions and personal stories, we examine both pharmacological and current non-pharmacological approaches in elder and dementia care. Discussion includes highlights of the more traditional treatments and the potential of interesting alternative options, such as music therapy, physical activity, and the Montessori Method in dementia care.

Panel of Experts

Dr. Anna Fisher serves as the Hillcrest Health Services health, quality, and nursing services education expert. She is responsible for the implementation of educational and quality improvement programs following the identification of clinical needs, competency exams, and supporting the need for high quality of care for diverse business lines that include assisted living, memory support, adult day services, home health care, palliative, hospice, post-acute, and skilled nursing care. 

Dr. Fisher is also an adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Bellevue University and teaches in the Masters-Health Administration Program. She was awarded the prestigious Maenner Award for Professorship of the Year in 2012.

Dr. Fisher is co-producer of the NET Television program series, Now What?, about elder care and dementia. The program series recently received a 2012 Bronze Award of Excellence from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association under the category of Service to Community.

Dr. Fisher is currently President of the Consortium of Dementia Alternatives and President of the Montessori International School of the Plains. She is a certified dementia practitioner, licensed nurse, and holds an undergraduate degree in human resources, graduate degree in business management, and a doctorate in health administration.


Dr. Daniel Murman received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 1989 and then completed a Neurology residency, fellowship and graduate training at the University of Michigan in 1996.  Dr. Murman’s subspecialty training is in Behavioral and Geriatric Neurology. Following this training, Dr. Murman was on the faculty of Michigan State University from 1997 to 2004 and then joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological Sciences at UNMC in 2004.  Since returning to UNMC, Dr. Murman has focused his research and clinical activity on the evaluation and treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and related neurodegenerative diseases.  Since 2011, Dr. Murman has served as interim Chair of the Department of Neurological Sciences.


Dr. Cameron Camp is a noted psychologist specializing in applied research in gerontology. He currently serves as Director of Research for the Center for Applied Research in Dementia. Dr. Camp gives workshops on designing cognitive and behavioral interventions for dementia internationally. His current research involves: use of Montessori-based activities as rehabilitative interventions to enable long-term care residents with dementia to effectively lead activities for other residents with dementia; interventions to enable therapists to apply memory improvement techniques during the course of therapy with persons with dementia and other cognitive impairments; and the use of cognitive rehabilitation via telecommunication to enable persons with cognitive deficits to adhere to medical regimens.

Dr. Camp received his doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Houston in 1979. He has co-authored three college textbooks and published over 100 articles in journals such as the Journal of Gerontology, The Gerontologist, Experimental Aging Research, Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders, Clinical Gerontologist, Psychology and Aging, the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, and the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Charter Member of the Association for Psychological Science, and currently serves as president of Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association. His research has been funded by grants from the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Alzheimer’s Association.


Grace Knott is the Rehab Administrator for Hillcrest Health Systems.  She oversees all rehab operations within all facilities of Hillcrest including Hillcrest Health and Rehab, Victoria Gardens, Mabel Rose Estates and Hillcrest Country Estates.  She is a licensed physical therapist who is board certified in geriatric physical therapy.  She is a graduate of Kansas University.  She currently volunteers her time and expertise to the Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance program associated with the Friendship Program. She is involved in the national association of physical therapists, serving as the Chairperson of the program committee of the Health Policy and Administration Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, is the Nebraska state liaison for the Geriatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and is on the legislative committee for the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association.  Passionate about seniors and advocates on their behalf at the state and federal level, she has presented numerous times on issues affecting the older adult including fall prevention, optimal aging and pain management. 


Anne Steinberg is currently the Lead Guide at Hillcrest Country Estates in Papillion, NE. She received her Bachelors of Music Therapy degree and a certificate of flute performance from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA in 1993. After using her Music Therapy training while working as an activities director at a nursing home, Anne realized that long term care was her calling. She completed a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from University of Maryland University College in 2007.  She is a licensed nursing home administrator, and her love of music is second only to her love for working with the elderly. Through her career in long term care, Anne has seen first-hand the benefits of music, both therapeutically and recreationally, for the elderly population.