Organization Designation – What Do You Know?

Organization Designation – What Do You Know? post page

Debi Tyler Newsom

By Debi Tyler NewsomMay 15th, 2019

Organization Designation – What Do You Know?

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by Debi Tyler, PAC Client Relationship Director


  • What’s all that about? 
  • Don’t we already have that?
  • What’s new?
  • Does it apply to me?
  • What’s in it for me?

Around the first of the year, Positive Approach to Care (PAC) began a re-tooling of our Organization Designation status. We had a structure for it some time ago, but we recognized the need to give it a booster shot! To make sure we are on the same page, I have sprinkled a few multiple-choice questions throughout this article, let’s see how you do!

Why is PAC restarting the Organization Designation program? 

  1. We didn’t have enough to do at PAC and thought it would be fun to have another project
  2. We want to acknowledge organizations that have ongoing relationships with us and actively work on providing better dementia care congruent with our philosophy and techniques.
  3. It’s another way to squeeze money out of affluent organizations
  4. PAC philosophy is the only way and we need to get all organizations on board

The correct answer is B!

Here’s what it’s all about:

The PAC Designated Organization is a term we use to describe a unit, facility, campus, or organization that embraces and applies the Positive Approach philosophy and techniques in a consistent manner. There are levels of proficiency that a group can attain, beginning with Level One, which focuses on the skills of direct care providers, to Level Four, which raises the bar to obvious application of philosophy and skills throughout the organization. A Level Four Organization would include assessing care staff and support staff such as maintenance and housekeeping, volunteers, even family members, who would demonstrate a basic understanding of retained abilities, cueing, and the importance of showing the individual that they are valued. 

We are currently working with six organizations that are eager to have the PAC Organization Designation (which I fondly refer to as “The Teepa Seal of Approval!”) Organizations can include a memory care unit, an assisted living facility, a dementia support group in the community, a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or even an entire continuing care retirement facility (CCRC). There are many types of organizations that applaud and adhere to the Positive Approach model, and we want to be able to adapt our endorsement to different groups. Some facilities have been working with PAC for many years and want to be recognized for accomplishing a level of proficiency for using Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA), Hand-Under-Hand® (HuH), and applying knowledge of the GEMS®. Therefore, the structure of this designation will be adapted for an assisted living facility, a dementia support network, or an adult day program so that together, we can create goals and expectations that are realistic for each group.

The new structure of Organization Designation coincided with the arrival of our new website: Check out this link if you haven’t already seen it! 

The process for applying is clearly outlined, including pre-requisites and a guide to determining if your organization is ready to apply. Once the online application is completed, a minimum of three surveys are filled out by staff at the organization who have different roles. 

Why does PAC want three surveys filled out by staff instead of administration? 

  1. It tells us if the housekeeping staff has time to fill out the application
  2. We want to get the inside scoop on all their problems 
  3. It gives us a sense of the starting level of awareness within the community
  4. We want to see if that organization has more than 3 employees

The Correct answer is C!

We want to get a baseline feel for where that group is at regarding their awareness of PAC ideas and skills. This gives their dementia leadership team and PAC a starting point in the conversation about their goals.

Another component of the Organization Designation status is to have two to three planned and unplanned visits throughout the year. The number of visits will be determined and adjusted as needed. One to two PAC Mentors will conduct a site visit and assess the progress of the community based on stated goals. 

What is the benefit of the unplanned visit?

  1. To create a heightened amygdala status and adrenaline rush similar to when state inspectors enter a facility
  2. To catch people doing it all wrong so we can let them know they have failed
  3. Because people always love surprises
  4. To get a more realistic idea of how staff are working towards their goals and adjust the focus if needed

If you answered D, you are beginning to get the idea of all this!

So maybe you are a family member, an independent contractor, or a care provider flying solo with PAC knowledge. How could this apply to you?

  1. If you know staff or organizations that might be interested, you can tell them
  2. If you are using PAC skills, your community or organization could qualify
  3. It might be something that would benefit an organization you interact with
  4. Your organization could grow its skills with this level of PAC support
  5. All of the above

You guessed it, the correct answer is E.

And what’s in it for you or your organization?

For some groups, having a Positive Approach to Care Organization Designation is exciting enough. But wait, there’s more! Organizations will be promoted on our website and in our media when they are both in process and when they have attained a level of designation. They will have a plaque to put in a prominent place that shows this accomplishment. It is certainly a positive status to use for Public Relations and Marketing to the community. There will be discounts and incentives in the PAC store. The best part of all however, is for communities and organizations to know they are working hard to consistently provide the best dementia care available!

Debi Tyler, OTR/L brings to PAC many years of experience working with older adults in dementia care and a long history with Teepa Snow. She was educated at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, with a degree in Occupational Therapy, and has provided decades of care and leadership for rehabilitation settings in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. Early in her career, she recognized a passion for working in gerontology, and has been constantly enriched by the colorful stories and experiences of that population. As the Client Relationship Director for Positive Approach to Care (PAC), she helps to coordinate training and service offerings to clients with the goal of growing dementia awareness, skills and competence. Debi is energized by family, her loyal, loving golden retriever, travel, experimenting with new recipes, photography, and her latest creative project.


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