What Does 2020 Hold for Our Journal?
by Teepa Snow,
MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
As we move forward into 2020, we at Positive Approach® to Care (PAC), are working hard in a variety of arenas to better serve and meet the needs of People Living with Dementia (PLwD), care partners, care providers, faith communities, governmental and community agencies, and many more stakeholders.
We are working hard to find a balance between providing readers and listeners with new and interesting knowledge or content, sharing among members of the international community, and providing readers with information on what we at PAC are doing and offering. This year we are keeping many elements from last year, while adding some new areas and aspects. As we typically do, we are also changing our monthly themes for this year.
Reorganization of content areas and some additions: Corners and Core:
- PAC Core – Previously we offered Lauren with a Side of Lewy on a regular basis. This year we will expanding this section to include interviews, links, news items, and articles by and for people living with dementia (PLwD). We are hoping there will certainly be opportunities for advocacy and conversational spin-offs from these postings.
- Certified Community Corner (C3) – This section is designed to provide a forum for sharing among our Trainers, Coaches, Consultants, Preceptors, Engagement Leaders, and Mentors. In this corner, there will be articles and interviews that (we hope) will help this community become better connected and more aware of each other and the work that is being done to change the culture of dementia care!
- Resources Corner – This new section will highlight and share out new resources, newly discovered resources, or details about selected PAC resources. This corner will provide information on free and for-a-fee resources. We will share out about PAC on-line and in store products, PAC services, and PAC Certification options, especially our newly expanded PAC Certified Champion offerings, the PAC Annual Conference, and Teepa’s Master Courses.
- Consultant’s Corner – This is a familiar section supported by Carolyn Lukert. We will be working to expand our sharing of what we will be offering in the next months that relate to consultation or availability for free on-line support. Please feel free to submit your questions or concerns for consideration in this section, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Care Partner Corner – We are establishing this section to better address the possible interests and concerns of solo or family care partners. It is true that caring for someone you have known and cared about as an individual, as well as, someone who is now experiencing significant changes in abilities and brain functions, is substantially different than doing the same for someone known only after the condition was present and with which the primary relationship is professional or service based. We are going to make an honest and structured effort to try to address unique concerns and stories of this varied population. Here is one specific support. If you are a family member or friend supporting another person living with dementia, feel free to join us, along with Alzheimer’s Support Network of Naples at our monthly on-line live Gathering. Our first session will be January 27th from 4-5:30 pm ET. See our on-line calendar for details on how to join in. Our opening topic will be on Why Use GEMS States Rather than Levels or Global Deterioration Stages When Supporting Someone Living with Dementia?
- Creative Corner – Articles, interviews, and resources related to music, art, theater, dance, horticulture, animal, and intergenerational programs or services will be explored and shared out in this section. We will continue to have our friend, Mary Sue Wilkerson, share out on the power of musical connections. We are adding in multiple arenas for possible creative and exciting brain and body mobilization and engagement. The fun part will come when we find out the variety of ways in which people are staying active and finding alternatives for what is still possible.
- Spirituality Corner – Linn Possell, one of our PAC Certified Mentors and an Ordained Minister, will be continuing to offer a Meditation. In addition to this thought provoking offering, we will be adding resources for stories related to spiritual support, faith community initiatives, reflections on the power of purpose and inclusion, and the need for community, connections, affirmation of relationship, and ways in which PAC can expand an appreciation of the special gifts and talents PLwD and caring partners can bring into spiritual spaces and moments. Finding a moment of fulfillment in the glory of a shared sunset, the sound of bird song on a quiet porch, an offer of a hug or hand from another, or a congregational choral offering or unified rhythmic response will be part of this corner’s mission.
Themes for the Year:
Each year we try to organize ourselves around at least one or two ideas so that we have a general direction of travel through the year and a plan of sharing out.
Last year we worked our way through many of the challenges faced by PLwD and their care supporters. This year we thought we might return to the scene of the crime, or the location where we can focus in and possibly better understand what is happening for us, the other person we are making an effort to be with or work with, or the situation we are trying to appreciate. It is the human nervous system, with all its various parts, portions, and functions or malfunctions.
We kick off our year with this month’s focus on peripheral versus central nervous system.
We then move to your brain and your senses.
March will find us exploring the hippocampal regions and what they do and how they cause problems when they don’t do their jobs.
April’s brain parts are responsible for the very basics of staying alive, whether you are paying attention or not!
We then compare the work of the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex when it comes to moving around in the world and doing rhythmic activities that are familiar.
Mid-year will find us trying to better appreciate the complex issues of getting sensory data in and sending motor reactions or actions out in the parietal and frontal lobes areas related to these strips of nerve bundles.
In July, we’ll dig into the amygdalae, a critical piece of tissue that affects so many challenging situations we encounter in brain changes.
Then it is off to the visual cortex, otherwise known as the occipital lobes of the brain.
After that, we head to the auditory processing areas, just above your ears, the temporal lobes.
In October we hit the executive control section, the operations headquarters when we are mature and in a good frame of mind, and creatively explore solutions to complicated situations.
In a month when we in the U.S. give thanks for all the good things we have, we will add thankfulness for neuroplasticity and the possibility of changing and developing new synapses, whether we have dementia or not!
We will end the year exploring the role of habits and habituation for good or bad, when it comes to brain activity and living life.
I sincerely, hope you will find at least a few of our pieces of interest and worth a response or comment, even if it is to have another perspective or opinion. Ours is an open and inclusive community that attempts to make room for all to come and be present and involved as abilities and time allows.