Now What? Dementia Types & Diagnosis


Through studio panel discussions and personal caregiver stories, Dr. Anna Fisher explores four of the most common types of dementia. Those are Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal Dementia and Vascular Dementia. Dr. Fisher also visits National Research Corporation In Lincoln, Nebraska, to learn about patient experience data collected there, and how that information is helping to shape the future of health 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. Deborah Hoffnung is a clinical neuropsychologist with Alegent Creighton Health Neuropsychology in Omaha, where she specializes in the evaluation of individuals with dementia, epilepsy, stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumor, and memory difficulties associated with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Hoffnung is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She received her PhD from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and then completed a one year Neuropsychology/Clinical Psychology internship and a two year fellowship in Neuropsychology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Glen Oaks, NY.

Dr. Sanjay Singh is the chairman of the Department of Neurology for the Creighton University School of Medicine. He is fellowship trained in epilepsy and neurophysiology. Dr. Singh is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his professional excellence. Dr. Singh received his medical degree from M.L.N. Medical College in India. He completed a neurology residency at George Washington University Medical Center and a two year fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the author of a reputed neurology book entitled, “Locatelli and Singh’s Handbook of Neurology.” He has been honored by several organizations including the America Academy of Neurology and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.  He is an invited expert speaker at many institutions both in the United States and numerous countries around the world.

Helen Crunk has 15 years nursing experience in long-term care settings. She is an Administrator of Hillcrest Mable Rose. Helen is a certified dementia practitioner and dementia care expert who is responsible for all team member education regarding dementia care best practice standards.

Ms. Crunk received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from Bellevue University. She has held    numerous board and committee positions that include: Chair of Nebraska Assisted Living Association; Nebraska Health Care Association Executive Board Member; Nebraska Health Care Foundation Board Member; National Center for Assisted Living Board Member; National Center for Assisted Living Quality Committee Member; National Center for Assisted Living Policy and Finance Committee Member; National Center for Assisted Living State Leader; Secretary of Nebraska Health Care Foundation Board; and Bellevue Young Professional Group.

Ms. Crunk is a two-time recipient of the National Administrator of the Year awarded by National Center for Center for Assisted Living; 2010 Bellevue, NE Business Woman of the Year; and a 2011 recipient of the Midlands Business Journal 40 under 40 award.

Dr. Karen Bremer is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Creighton University School of Medicine. Dr. Bremer earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1994. She completed a residency in neurology at the combined Creighton/ Nebraska Neurology program.  She worked for one year at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska and then joined Creighton Medical Associates in 2001.

Dr. Bremer is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a member of the American Headache Society.

Dr. Stephen Bonasera is Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience. Dr. Bonasera’s research focuses on the neurobiology of aging and understanding how aging changes brain function and behaviors that are important for a family’s loved one to remain independent and at home. These behaviors include physical activity, eating, drinking, resting, and socializing.  Dr. Bonasera currently holds a NIH R01 grant, a grant from the Alzheimer's Association, and a “Best New Invention” award from the University of Nebraska UNeMED Corporation.

A few of his many other research interests include behavioral neuroscience, neurodevelopment, genomics, computational neuroscience, information theory, behavioral modeling, genetic epidemiology, cell-phone based medical information technology, functional status, lifespace, functional behavior measurement in ambulatory community dwelling population. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Neuroscience, and the American Geriatrics Society.

Dr. Bonasera received his M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bonasera completed residency training and a geriatrics fellowship in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California - San Francisco, and holds a Geriatric Medicine Subspecialty Certification. He also has two degrees in electrical engineering.

Jea Theis is a mental health counselor and social worker licensed in both Iowa and Nebraska.  She has worked with individuals and families recovering from abuse and trauma, and has specific training in trauma-focused and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Jea has been with Hillcrest Hospice and Homecare since 2012, and currently works as the Patient and Family Services Coordinator and provides bereavement care to families.  She is especially interested in examining personal and environmental factors that help individuals and families successfully cope and grow through change and loss.

Extended Caregiver Interviews

Allan and Sharon Schur were high school sweethearts and were married in 1971. Sharon was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 54, in 2005. In this interview, Allan talks about his caregiving journey. Even though... more››
Mary Beth Kennedy first noticed her mother Marian's approaching dementia, when Marian found it hard to remember how to do things she had always done, like canning and baking. When she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (DLB),... more››
Dee Eagleton knew something was wrong with her mother, Alyce, beyond the memory loss that is generally attributed to aging. In addition to forgetfulness, Alyce exhibited personality and behavioral changes, and she was... more››