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Advanced Consultant in Training
Karen Ellexson, earned her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 1996 and has been a practicing licensed physical therapist in Virginia for the last 24 years. She has spent the majority of her career in Geriatrics (18 years), specifically in long term care providing direct patient care as a staff therapist, providing team management and clinical program development as a rehabilitation director, area manager and clinical specialist. Caring for people living with dementia is a passion which lead to becoming a certified Independent Consultant and Trainer for Positive Approach to Care (PAC), and a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Karen has experienced the challenges facing people living with dementia from a professional stand point, but from a personal perspective as well. Her father was diagnosed with early onset dementia at 57 and passed away at 76, nineteen years later. These experiences gave her the drive to be part of the change needed to raise awareness, spread knowledge and teach skills to better connect, communicate, interact and partner for care with people living with dementia. Karen is currently The Positive Approach to Care Coordinator for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) providing staff development, education, consulting services, and promoting cultural change as the community transitions from a medical model to a household model providing resident centered care. She is a certified support group facilitator through the Alzheimer’s Association, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association political action group (AIM) Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) geriatric section.