May 2020 Issue

The Cerebellum Compared to the Cerebrum – The Big Brain and the Little Brain Relationship
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L

Unless you are involved in helping people who have had neurological problems or changes, it is highly unlikely that you would be knowledgeable about the relationship between the big brain and the little brain. You may not have even known there were two brain complexes in your head. It is also possible that you might not appreciate their relationship to the survival brain. It turns out these three players, like the skill fingers of the human hand - the thumb, index finger, and middle finger - work collaboratively to keep us alive, moving, and mastering our environment so we can thrive. The third player is called the brainstem. It is the most basic and primitive survival portion. Not considered a full brain, it does, however, manage a huge number of automatic and rhythmic pats of staying alive without thinking!

A Message from Positive Approach to Care  

Click Here to View PAC's Videos on Our YouTube Channel

PAC is Responding, NOT Reacting, to COVID-19.
We are still offering services, however, it is an ongoing discussion on how to provide the best support to everyone. We are developing virtual options for all of our services, certifications, and other offerings. Bookmark this page to stay up to date.

We are also creating videos as quickly as we can and are posting them on our homepage and social platforms to give you immediate help and support. View our homepage here. Let us know what else you want to see or how we can help by completing our survey.

We understand that having resources like the Online Dementia Journal can help in this time of need and also provides a great reading activity. Keep in mind while viewing this month’s issue, that as the COVID-19 pandemic and related information changes as time goes on, some details or services may also evolve. Visit our homepage in the coming days and weeks to stay up to date with changes or sign up for our email list to get notified of ongoing developments right to your inbox.

- Teepa Snow and the Positive Approach to Care team
A Wild Ride 
by Polly Logan,  
PAC Executive Assistant and Publications Administrative Coordinator 

While on a family vacation this past August, I got a call that I was definitely not expecting: Your sister has had a stroke. This was especially shocking since my sister, who is 39 years old, didn’t have any of the major risk factors for a stroke. It started with a couple days of moderate headache, but then the pain suddenly became extremely severe. She lost most of the function of her limbs, speech, eyesight, and hearing. Needless to say, this was a frightening experience for her two young children, who were home alone with her at the time.

After a battery of tests in the emergency room, it was determined that she had experienced a severe infarction (stroke) in her cerebellum, a region in the brain near the base of the skull. During her nearly month-long hospitalization, her symptoms were quite severe. Because the cerebellum of the brain controls posture and balance, she experienced such constant intense vertigo that she was unable to open her eyes for an entire week. She said it felt as if she were violently spinning and falling at the same time on a really wild ride. Without a properly functioning cerebellum to help orient you in space, walking is impossible, and she wasn’t even able to sit upright.

Registration for 2020 PAC Conference is Open!
Need an umbrella to come in out of the rain?

As the hailstorm of COVID-19 hopefully subsides into a gentle spring rain, our thoughts turn to our 2nd Annual PAC Conference: Living Under the Umbrella of Dementia.

Please plan to join us rain or shine, as the conference will be held either virtually or in person in Cary, NC.

Check it out and register today

In This Issue:

Do you have a question or situation that you would like to discuss in more detail?

We offer phone consultations with a Positive Approach to Care Certified Consultant, who will gather information and explore strategies together with you.

  • The first 30 minute phone consultation is free of charge
  • Additional consultations are $45 USD per hour.

This is the Dementia Care Partner Talk Show, an audio only podcast to help you navigate the senior care maze. Learn and laugh with us as we discuss creative solutions and ideas to common and uncommon dementia care challenges, and how to make sense of the senior care industry and options when you're not a professional.

Visit the Dementia Care Partner Talk Show Facebook Page and answer two simple questions to join!

Click here to access them all!

All Flight Reactions Don't Look the Same
by Alejandro DeJesus,  
PAC Lead Mentor Coordinator 

Hey, open your eyes. They came here to see you. C’mon, you opened them last time people came to see you. While she says it, she continues to grab his arm and shake a bit. I stand there for what seems like an eternity before I turn away. I go to take my coat off and completely turn my body away from what is happening, this is my flight response.

A flight response should only kick in when there is a threat. What’s the threat here? For me, it’s the way someone I love, who is living with dementia, is being talked to and treated. Taking my coat off removes me from the situation. Now my brain can no longer take in the visual and auditory data that is causing me distress. Without realizing it, my primitive brain helped me remove the threat.

Music Filled with Memories
by, Laura Case,
PAC Customer Service Support 

Music is so amazing and so are the memories that come with it. Hearing certain songs reminds us of the good ole days, church hymns, dances we attended, car rides, fun concerts, and gatherings with friends and family. Thinking back on my upbringing from watching the Lawrence Welk Show with my grandparents and Hee Haw with my family, to growing up in the 1980’s, which I’d have to say it has to be my favorite decade of music. I also have wonderful memories of attending concerts with family and friends that I hold close to my heart.

When I became a mother, I enjoyed comforting my children with lullabies until they fell asleep in my arms, even if I don’t have the best voice. The moments I spent rocking and singing songs to them will be with me forever.

Positive Approach to Care Needs Your Support!

Due to COVID-19 and the subsequent cancellation of nearly all in-person workshops and events, Teepa Snow's company and team is in financial hardship. This will also impact free resources we are able to create for you, like our monthly journal.

Please consider helping us continue our mission and efforts of improving the lives of people affected by dementia.

With love and sincere appreciation,
Teepa Snow and the entire PAC Team

The Picture This app gives the classic, card-matching memory game a modern twist. Use your own pictures as the images to match!

When a loved one’s memory declines, the ability to recall names and faces can become a struggle. Picture This goes beyond the simple memory exercising game with the ability to use your own pictures for an interactive experience, which will help connect past memories to present realities. Picture This engages the long-term and short-term memory with the act of finding two matching cards. Identifying the friend or family member in the photo by guessing the correct caption will then trigger recall memory skills. Help facilitate communication with Picture This.

For more information on Picture This, seniors, and memory care, visit our Website and check out our Facebook page. Download Picture This for FREE!

This is a paid advertisement, and PAC does not promote or endorse any products not produced by PAC. 

Core Team Corner

Welcome to the PAC Core Team Corner. At PAC, we cannot do what we do without help from our friends who are living with dementia. In this section of the Online Dementia Journal, we will share out info from our Core Team. If you are interested in being a part of the PAC Core Team or would like to contribute a story or video, please contact Corrie Phillips via email.

Lauren with a Side of Lewy

by Lauren U,
PAC Core Team Member

Covid-19. I'm grateful and quite lucky that it has not affected my daily life very much. I go out less than I already did.

I'm saddened by all the sick, struggling, frightened, and dying people. I think about how different these days would be for me had I still been working in hospitals. I would have been directly involved with patient care. I'm very disturbed by the thought of so many people sick and dying alone. Their loved ones are unable to spend that precious time together. This extends to all people who lose their life during this time, not only those with this coronavirus. The people who normally would be sharing beautiful occurrences, such as the birth of a child, with others have had this experience taken away as well. I worry about those who work in food service industry, or in retail sales. What about hair salons, and those who work in entertainment? I worry about the changes in all those who work in the service industry. I worry about PAC.

Continue reading the complete article

Dementia-friendly Dining in Central Florida
by Dr. Dennis Dulniak,
Founder of Central Florida Dementia-friendly Dining

Dementia-friendly dining restaurants are food service establishments that provide friendly, safe, and enjoyable places where families and friends may bring their loved ones who are living with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia. Sharing a meal out of the house reduces isolation, increases social contact, encourages opportunities for engagement and communication, provides stimulation, and creates memories that are shared among families and friends. These quality of life experiences make our community more dementia-friendly. Compassion, understanding, shared caregiving, and a more relaxed and enjoyable meal is a joy for all!

Dementia-friendly dining in Central Florida was started by Dennis Dulniak, care partner for his wife Nancy. Nancy was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers in 2015 and placed in a local memory care community in January of 2019.

Care Partner Corner

The Care Partner Corner is a new addition to the Online Dementia Journal that is just for Care Partners.  We will use this section of the journal to share out interesting ideas from Care Partners just like you.  If you are interested in contributing a story, photo, or video, please contact Corrie Phillips via email.

Grab-a-Hand and Hang On!

Join the Community Care Circle

by Corrie L. Phillips,
PAC Team Member

The vision of Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) is to enhance the life and relationships of those living with brain change by fostering an inclusive global community. We strive to do this by using our talents and abilities to develop awareness, knowledge, and skill with all people, that will transform what exists into a more positive dementia care culture.

It’s not just about what we do at PAC. This mission really takes a village! Especially in today’s climate where COVID-19 has impacted the lives of everyone around the globe. For this reason, we are inviting you to become a part of our Community Care Circle.

We salute you and want to shine a light on care partners, people living with dementia, professionals, families, and organizations for all the hard work that you are doing to make life better for all of us.

Use #communitycarecircle in your posts to let folks know you support the full circle of community care and that we are all in this together.

Certified Community
Corner (C3)

This corner is designed to provide a forum for sharing among our Certified Community. There will be articles and interviews that 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!

Implementing PAC in a Dementia Specific Area of a Residential Care Facility in Australia

by Rejane Le Grange, 
Occupational Therapist

I work for a not-for-profit organization in Western Australia that runs aged care residential facilities and home care services. We pride ourselves in providing support, care, and accommodation for a full life. I head up the organization’s Dementia Services Team, DST. This small group of professionals is dedicated to ensuring that people living with dementia are provided with the best possible care by their care services.

In 2019, the DST conducted a research study to see if training staff to apply Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach® to Care in their everyday care made any difference to the well-being of the people living with dementia and/or to the care partners.

Often, knowledge about dementia and care plan guidelines are not enough to commit staff to the best approach when providing care. The assessments conducted prior to our training program showed that staff scored an average of 82% on their knowledge about dementia. In spite of good dementia literacy and DST guidance, incidents of resident resistance continued to occur.

Arts 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 Wilkinson, 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.

Free and Easy to Use Play Lists and Sing Along Videos

by Mary Sue Wilkinson,
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and Author of “Songs You Know by Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care”

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the lock down?

I understand.

I’d like to help. I’ve gathered up free and easy to use playlists and I’ve been making singalong videos for you as well.

Click on the links below, click play, and away you go.

Here’s a spring and garden themed playlist I made on my YouTube channel. It includes 34 videos of the original versions of many uplifting and beautiful songs.

Here’s a love song playlist with 38 songs, also on my YouTube channel.

Here are two sing along videos I made for you. Each sing along is about 10 or 11 minutes long and will play one right after the other because they are in a playlist.

And here’s a link to my website where I have a free sing along library. These sing along videos will be available for free at least through May.

Looking for CDs? Here’s the link to Teepa’s online store where you can find both of my sing along CDs as well as my book. Bonus - Teepa offers free shipping.

And one more thing. Here’s a little musical message from my home to yours.

Adapting Art Programming During COVID-19 

by Kathryn Quinlan, 
PAC Products and Services Coordinator

Engaging with Music and Mary Sue - The Bunny Hop 

by Mary Sue Wilkinson,
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and Author of “Songs You Know by Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care”

Due to the ever changing precautions during the Coronavirus outbreak, PAC's event details are constantly changing.
For the most up to date information click the links below

All PAC Events


Live Public Webinars

Teepa's Speaking Engagements

Upcoming Webinars

View Positive Approach to Care's Live Public Webinar Schedule here.

This Series connects caregivers of a person living with dementia to other caregivers around the world. It provides you with a forum where you can talk openly and freely about your challenges. As well, it will help you gain awareness and knowledge of care strategies to help improve interactions with your loved one. Registration is limited to 15 participants.

Learn more, view the whole schedule, or register

Online Dementia Journal

Positive Approach to Care's Online Dementia Journal  (ODJ) is a free monthly e-newsletter designed for families and professional care partners who are looking to grow their awareness and knowledge in order to provide better care for people living with dementia.

The ODJ also serves as a great way to receive updates on when and where you can see Teepa and her Team.  All of the articles in the ODJ are created by Teepa Snow, the Positive Approach to Care team, and their affiliates so that you get the latest news on developing programs, training tools, advocacy efforts, and ideas from around the world.

Join the PAC Community of Care!

Learn more or subscribe to the ODJ here.

Ask Teepa Anything
In this free, monthly web broadcast, Teepa discusses a dementia related topic and then answers questions from the audience.  This is your opportunity to get your questions answered!  Join us for the live broadcast!


These sessions are designed to provide a safe place where anyone living with dementia can come and share time with Teepa, if they choose. This is an open forum for successes, celebrations, frustrations, challenges, and problem solving is what we hope to offer one another.

Learn more, view the whole schedule, or register

Spirituality Corner

Social distancing can’t break our spirits!

Debra Yamstein, one of our long-time supporters, friends, and Certified Independent Professionals, recently was mention in two articles regarding a Yom Kippur service that worked to diminish the feeling of isolation that dementia can create. Click here to read the first article from the Oakland Press. Click here to read the second article from The Jewish News.

  • What do you notice about the offering?
  • Why is this important to offer?
  • How could you adapt this for COVID-19 and your own faith?
  • What is one thing that you could do to make a spiritual connection for someone living with dementia?

Have you tried Zoom?

Could you join together to listen to some spiritual or folk music? Check out Mary Sue’s selections.

Have you considered a distance-friendly parade? Check out Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly and the Veranda’s creativity.

I came across the following article, click here, and even though it was written many years ago, spirituality for those living with dementia was deemed important.Let’s see if we can normalize the supportive space and offerings that will allow those living with dementia to stay connected all the way through.

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.

If Not Us, Tell Me Who? 
by Sheila Welch,
Developer/Coordinator, Loving Through Dementia and PAC Certified Independent Trainer

One of the greatest blessings of my life comes from sharing the lives of care partners as they love family members through Alzheimers or related dementias. Isolated and lonely, their needs guide our dementia education ministry at every turn.

Often, through tears, they tell me some version of the following;

My wife and I supported, loved, and participated in our church for all of our lives … until dementia came.  Now, friends, family, even clergy do not visit or call.

Theologian, John Swinton tells us,

The problem is not that people with dementia forget. The problem is that they are forgotten.

Retired Bishop Kenneth Carder adds that when the Church forgets these families, it would be easy for them to believe that God has forgotten them, also.

Care partners often ask, where is God in all of this?  My faith tells me that God is where He has always been … holding His children. The question is, where are we, the church, and the community in all of this?

How do we begin to better serve families facing dementia? The answers will be as different as are the faiths, the communities, and the leaders themselves.

Teepa's Clips - Small Bytes, Big Taste

by Keith Icove,
PAC Lead Product Coordinator

This month I would like to highlight one of PAC’s newest resources, Teepa’s Clips, which is a low-cost, subscription service that gives you access to essential and practical dementia care content in 20 minutes or less.

Even though many of us are spending more time at home than usual, we are still busy with things like working remotely, cooking meals, keeping our homes clean and tidy, and most importantly, taking care of our family. So, it can be a challenge to find extended periods of time for learning and personal growth, even more so if we are also caring for someone living with dementia. For those working essential jobs, which now require extra precautions to remain safe and healthy, the time and energy it drains creates even greater challenges.

We are having a special for the month of May! For any musical resource you purchase you will receive a 10% discount. When you visit our music selection in our store and you are ready to checkout please enter the promo code: MAYMUSIC20 for your 10% discount, this offer is good until May 31st.

Browse Now! >>
Looking Back at COVID -19

by Debi Tyler Newsom, OTR/L,
PAC Client Relationship Director

It’s not like the stress of COVID-19 is behind us, but after several weeks of social distancing and isolation, there has been time to reflect on how this change in lifestyle has affected our family dynamics, our activities, and our plans for the future.

If you think about a challenge you have had in the past, what did you learn from that experience that can help you in our current time? If you were going through the same situation again, what are you proud of, and what would you change? When the scare and uncertainty of COVID-19 really is something we can think back on, what will be the prominent memories of your time at home, the changes with work, the way you took care of yourself and supported others? What about the way you balanced your time, in the areas of: time waiting, self-care, rest/reflection/quiet time, fun, and activities that provide purpose/meaning/value to your life?

Continue reading the complete article

A Crack Doesn't Mean Broken

by Stephanie “Teffie” Landmann, COTA/L,
PAC Support Mentor, Coach, and Trainer

Working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, you hear some funny things said by the folks you are helping and caring for. When thinking about balance I think of the following two lines said by a fellow therapist and the person they were working with:

            Reach back for the chair before you sit so you don’t fall and bust your bottom.

            Why, it’s cracked already?

That was back in 2016, when my focus was on fall prevention related to balance, coordination, regaining ability to shift weight, and points of contact. Fast forward to Spring of 2020 and my thoughts on balance have shifted to mental balance and coordination. We have seen a change when it comes to PAC Certifications. We shifted our weight from in person interactive courses to virtual interactive courses. It wasn’t easy, you could say it was, cracked already. We reached back into our history as a company and didn’t fall. Thanks to the PAC team for engaging our collective thinking brain, balance, and coordination to make the shift successful. Click on the video to hear what Teepa and some of our first virtual learners had to say.

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 of free on-line support. Please feel free to submit your questions or concerns for consideration in this section, via email.

Consultant's Corner
by Carolyn Lukert, MBA, CGCM,
PAC Consultant and Mentor

Dear PAC Consultant,

My dad has dementia, and lives with me. He keeps falling. So far, he hasn’t had any major injuries - he has been very lucky. I am thinking this is going to be the thing that takes him down – literally. Why is this happening, and how can I prevent it?

Fear of Falls in Foster

Dear Fear of Falls in Foster,

Thanks for reaching out. So, your dad is falling a lot. That has got to be scary for both of you, and for anyone else in your dad’s circle of care. Very sorry to hear this is happening, and while I suspect this won’t make it any less scary, please know that this is not unusual. I am happy to hear he has not had any injuries thus far. He is very lucky, indeed. You have asked two great questions. I will do my best to explore the many variables that come into play. Then I will offer a few possible strategies to consider.

Be a sponsor of the 2020 PAC Conference

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at our 2020 Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) Conference. If you would like to be a sponsor, visit the conference page and complete the sponsor form or send an email. Take a look below to see who else is already planning to attend as sponsors/exhibitors:

    • The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
    • The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)
    • Athena Advocacy
    • Aware Senior Care
    • Care Academy
    • Coping With Dementia
    • Daybreak ADP
    • Dementia Alliance of NC
    • Empath Education
    • Forget Me Not Family Care Home & Village
    • Glenaire
    • Leisure Care
    • The Lewy Body Dementia Association
    • Linked Senior
    • Patrick Manor
    • Relias
    • SENI
    • Senior Helpers
    • Senior Home Care Solutions
    • Seniors Helping Seniors
    • Southern Gerontological Society
    • Trualta
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