October 2020 Issue

You Can Only Use It If You Have It and Have Access To It
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

One absolute truth about the pre-frontal cortex is that you can only use it if you have the structures and chemistry that make it work. You also need the wiring that connects it to the rest of the brain. It is vital to keep in mind that the pre-frontal section is not able to get data from the outside world or the body. It can only get data from other parts of the brain, send directions or requests to other parts of the brain to get that section to activate, or cause an action to happen or not happen. As the executive control center, it only has so much control when things are not going well for either the body or in the world around the person. The more primitive sections of the brain will not pay attention to the executive control center when there are immediate challenges. If the actions, responses, and patterns are not hard-wired into the automatic flow of how the person engages in the world or directs their body to do something, then the older and more reflexive actions and reactions will become the go-to option.

The function of the pre-frontal section of the human brain helps us define who we are, how we are around others, how we express and live our values, and how we perceive and treat everyone and everything around us. If there is damage to this portion of the brain, through a head injury, a stroke, or dementia, there will be significant changes in one or more of these vital areas of function. The complex nature of how this section is connected to other parts of the brain and integrates what comes into it from all of those sections makes it extremely vulnerable to the impact of various forms of dementia. It also results in inconsistent performance, variable abilities, and alterations in emotional regulation and self-awareness.

Continue reading to further understand the pre-frontal cortex

Try our printable Pre-frontal Crossword Puzzle

What Am I Missing?
by Emily Egerton,  
PAC Education Design Consultant 

Whether you have been a care partner for days or for years, there are and will be times when personal interactions are challenging and even infuriating. This feels particularly frustrating when a person behaves in a way that is markedly different from how they used to be, leaving care partners more likely to respond with anger than with compassion.

The main reason behind these difficult interactions is that dementia impacts the brain’s executive control center, the part of the brain that influences a person’s personality, communication, and behavior. This region, known as the pre-frontal cortex, controls a person’s ability to think logically, make wise choices, finish something they have started, see things from another person’s point of view, and have an awareness of how their behavior affects others. That is why brain change in this region can cause variations in personality, the loss of impulse control, and an inability to think logically or empathically.

Continue reading the entire article

PAC Virtual Conference 

Since we can’t be together in person, we are inviting everyone to join us virtually for the Positive Approach to Care® 2nd Annual Conference – Living Under the Umbrella of Dementia. Learn from Teepa Snow, PAC mentors, and people living with dementia, as well as additional surprise guests.

The cost to virtually attend is $250 per device (1-6 people can be in one room watching together). You will also get access to ALL of the sessions (not just the ones you attend live) after the conference, for FREE! Register today. Questions? Contact us here.

What is the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia?

Are you a family member who can recognize dementia symptoms and know how to respond, not react?

Does your staff know the unique symptoms each type of dementia presents and what care support works best?

Register now for our Conference on November 16th-17th to explore the answers to these questions and more. Learn about the various types or forms of dementia. What unique symptoms each one can present. What awareness and techniques work best with these types of dementia.

Learn and hear from actual people living with dementia. For example, Barney will be sharing more about what life is like living with Lewy Body Dementia.

In addition, look at everything you get when you register

  • Free Under The Umbrella Conference T-shirts thru Oct. 31st
  • Free viewing of A Journey with Dementia Minds presentation
  • Free attendance to Book Reading and Review with Teepa and Linn
  • PAC Conference Kit loaded with goodies and mailed if registered by Nov. 2nd
  • Technical support to learn and manage Zoom and/or Whova apps
  • CEs and/or Contact Hours available with Professional Ticket
  • Access to recordings of all sessions for up to one year
  • Free ticket to Raising Our Voices, a musical event with Rising Country Star Jay Allen

RAISING OUR VOICES - The Power of Rhythm for Change, Inclusion, and Unity 

  • Featuring Rising Country Music Star and Dementia Advocate, Jay Allen. He will perform Blank Stares, the song he wrote after his mom’s Alzheimers diagnosis in addition to a couple of his new releases, Lines, and Cool. Jay and Teepa met at a fundraising event and became fast friends. She and Mary Sue Wilkerson will be joining Jay for an unforgettable musical/educational event on Nov. 16th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.

Click for information on Continuing Education Credits  

Receive a pre-recorded webinar download with Teepa Snow ($20 value)

In This Issue:

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 is 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.

Teepa’s Clips – A PAC Subscription Service

$2.99  $9.99 / month with a 14-day free trial

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 for access!


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

Wish you could have access to Teepa Snow in your facility every day?

We have three ways you can access, learn, and use the Positive Approach to Care® for your staff:

  1. Online Group Learning for organizations of 50 learners or more
  2. In-Service Learning Kits for individual learners or smaller groups
  3. Uploading our content to your own Learning Management System (LMS).

The options we offer cover a wide variety of learning situations and include all our content. We will help you customize a learning environment that provides the proven efficacy and excellence of the Positive Approach to Care® for your staff, at an affordable cost. Contact licensing@teepasnow.com for more information.

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

I'm looking for the good stuff. Something exciting or inspiring to write about. It's not coming to me. With COVID, politics, environment, violence, and global changes there is little room for joy. I don't want to write about all the dissension. I would love to be able to talk about my friends from Saturday Club but Saturday Club is no more. I'd go horseback riding but that didn't turn out too well for me the last time. I'd love to go sky diving again. The young woman who went with me last time has disappeared from my life. My other local friend has also disappeared. I used to write about my PAC adventures and the fun I had with my PAC family. Nope. No travelling opportunities. Virtual meetings are okay but not nearly as good as being together in person.

      Continue reading the complete article

      [thrive_2step id='268169']Click HERE to learn about our FREE GEMS App[/thrive_2step]

      Focus on the Possibilities - Inspirational Stories of People Affected by Dementia
      by Dawn Wiggins, RPN,  
      President and Director of Operations of New Dementians Professional Healthcare and PAC Certified Consultant, Trainer, Mentor, and Speaker 

      Please know that the person living with dementia is not giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time. – Anon

      Storytelling is one of our oldest and greatest accomplishments as human beings. Stories can empower, inspire, motivate, and even change lives. Whenever we tell stories about taboo or stigmatized topics, we open up a world of possibilities. A story can bridge a chasm, normalizing the conversation and no longer making it about they and them but rather we and us.

      Stories about dementia, and in this case, frontal temporal dementia (FTD), are no different. FTD is under the umbrella of dementia which is not one disease but a term that covers numerous medical conditions. With FTD, some of the brain functions that are affected include the ability to make reasonable, rational, and logical decisions. Impulse control and the ability to weigh options are also affected.

      Continue reading to hear Jim's story

      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.

      COVID Can't Stop Dementia Education

      by Debbie Selsavage,
      PAC Certified Independent Trainer and Consultant

      In 2018, my company, Coping with Dementia LLC, contributed to the launch of a new nonprofit called Dementia Education Inc. to support research and learning in techniques of person-centered compassionate care.

      In 2017, to foster a better public understanding of dementia, we created a portable photo exhibit containing framed portraits of 24 famous Americans who have succumbed to dementia. That exhibit went on a tour of public spaces, mostly libraries, where it was seen by an estimated half-million people.

      We have developed and assembled a new Famous Americans Dementia Education Photo Exhibit that contains 42 framed portraits.

      Continue reading the entire article

      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!

      Sharing the Shine
      by Rebekah Wilson, MSW,   
      PAC Certified Mentor and Consultant

      This month, we are focused on the pre-frontal cortex. One of the skills of this region of the brain is awareness of our own abilities, where we shine and where we can use support. With over 2500 folks in our PAC Certified Community, there is a lot of PAC shine happening around the world. Straight Up Positive (SUP!) is a new weekly Facebook Live show that is all about sharing the amazing shine of our PAC Certified Community members.

      Please join us and our hosts, Matthew Christopher and Rebekah Wilson, each Tuesday @ 7pm ET on the Teepa Snow Facebook page.

      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.

      Don't Miss Out On the Power of Folk Songs

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

      Folk songs are the quickest way to engage your staff.

      Amanda works in housekeeping. She is passing through the living room where we are gathered to sing. I see her singing along on a line or two as she walks by. Angie, the hospice nurse, is in the back working on charts. I see her lips moving to a familiar song. The cook comes into the room to check on timing for a meal. He pauses to sing a chorus or two with us. The quiet CNA standing behind the med cart calls out elephant for Old McDonald and then proceeds to do a very effective elephant trumpet. We all laugh and everyone feels like they are part of the group. It’s almost as if folk songs catch people off guard and they can’t help but sing along. Why? Because childhood memories click in and people suddenly feel comfortable singing. Younger staff members may not know the standards from the 40’s that elders often love. But they probably sang at least a few folk songs at home, at school, or at camp. Staff members like to feel competent too. Folk songs can help blur the lines between care partners and care recipients.

      Continue reading to learn the power of folk songs

      Virtual Art Tours
      by Kathryn Quinlan,
      PAC Products and Services Coordinator

      In our Community Care Circle, we encourage you to become a voice for dementia care locally and around the world. Share your insights. Be a voice for those who cannot speak. Inspire others to take action!

      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. Share out your message and tag us on social media.

      Spirituality Corner

      Pay it Forward

      by Amanda Snow Bulgarelli,
      PAC Chief Operations Officer

      The Soul and Self

      by Reverand Linn Possell,  
      PAC Speaker and Mentor

      When thinking about what makes a person who they are, it is important to think about more than what they do or have done, what their characteristics are, or how they have lived their life. Yes, these are important things to know about someone, especially when trying to support a person living with dementia. These things give us opportunities for connection and relationship, they also give us some clues as to how we might best support them in their life. More importantly, these things give us a window into their soul.

      For this month’s meditation, take a moment to focus on this centering thought: repeating it to yourself,

      I am aware of my true self.

      I am aware of my true self.

      Continue reading the entire article

      You're Here for a Reason - Mitzi's Journey

      by Ansley Ward,
      Blogger, Videographer, and Marketing Consultant

      COVID and Me

      by Paula Jaros,
      PAC Scheduling Coordinator

      At the beginning of this whole adventure, as I like to call it, all was surprisingly good for me. I worked from home, so staying home was not a problem. My husband also worked from home, so I had some company. Thankfully, we work well together and are respectful, most of the time, of each other’s meeting times and space. Next, my daughter was home, all the time, as they closed the gym she works at. This was some good mother daughter time as she is a personal trainer (maybe I can get into some kind of shape, although round is a shape). She did work with me and it was a lot of fun. I joined her workout sessions and she joined in my daily walks. We cooked together, cleaned the house, went grocery shopping and in general hung out a lot, it was awesome.

      Continue reading about Paula, her journey, and how she is managing the toll of COVID

      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,

      I am a family care partner and am just getting started on this journey.  I am interested in both the free 30-minute consultation and the Online Care Partner Support Series that you advertise on your website.  Would you tell me a bit more about them?

      Victor in Vancouver

      Dear Victor,

      Thanks for reaching out, and I welcome the opportunity to tell you more!  It just so happens I recently made a couple of short videos describing those two services. Click the video links in the next column.

      What did you notice from each of these, and what additional questions do you have?  Please feel free to reach out to us at consult@teepasnow.com.  We will be happy to provide more information.

      PAC Consultant

      Free 30-minute consultations:  To sign up for a consult, click on this link.

      Online Care Partner Support Series:  For further information on our remaining series for 2020 or to register, click here to access our Care Partner Support Series.

      Click for a printer-friendly version

      What are PAC Consults?

      by Carolyn Lukert, MBA, CGCM,
      PAC Consultant and Mentor

      What is the Care Partner Support Series?

      by Carolyn Lukert, MBA, CGCM,
      PAC Consultant and Mentor

      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 Champion offerings, the PAC Annual Conference, and Teepa's Master Courses.

      Time for a Dementia Clock?

      by Keith Icove,
      PAC Lead Product Coordinator

      For people living with early state dementia or memory loss who may start to lose their sense of time, using digital devices to keep track of the time, day, and date can become challenging. Whether it’s the digital format, the small size of the numbers and letters, or even how to operate a device like a smartphone, the clocks that we relied upon for most of our adult lives suddenly are no longer effective. Fortunately, there are many simple to use options available, from traditional analog to big format digital and even voice assisted. Any of these can assist people living with dementia, PLwD, with keeping track of the time, day, and date, thus helping them keep some structure and routine in their lives. So if you have the time, check out some options, including analog, from one of our retail partners, the Alzheimer's Store, or check out some reviews of large digital format clocks that are available on Amazon.

        Click for a printer-friendly version

        Survey Says! - Results from 2021 Certifications, Travel or No Travel

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

        Thank you to everyone that took my survey from last month’s journal article, 2021 Certifications – Travel or No Travel.  You missed the survey? Oh, shoot sorry. Submit your survey here. I’m still interested in your thoughts.

        Here is what the PAC Community had to say about travel...

        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 product not produced by PAC. 

        PAC has launched an Amazon Storefront
        Become a PAC Designated Organization

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

        If you are unfamiliar with this term, PAC Designated Organization, it is a level of recognition with Positive Approach to Care® which indicates an alignment with our mission and our methods.

        Click on the link below to hear more about how we have adapted our PAC Organization Designation to the virtual world in which we live.

        While in-person visits to your community are still not a viable option, we have adapted and there are several options for virtual visits once you have initiated the application process.

        Continue reading to learn more about PAC’s Designated Organization offerings

        I was always very close to my mother, and lived only a mile from her as an adult. We saw each other most every day and talked many times a day. I remember the exact moment that I worried about her having dementia. Then, back-to-back strokes threw us a curve ball on her dementia journey and in December of 2016, my family made the gut-wrenching decision to place her in facilitated care.

        Care partners knew her as they saw her, but we wanted them to know more, to get a glimpse into her beautiful life story and how much she was loved. The Word Walls brought communication to her in a new way. They became her voice as a conversation starter for care partners to engage with her in a more meaningful way. The first care partner that came in the room just after my Word Wall installation instantly had tears in her eyes and gave my mom a big hug. She said, I should have known. We had pictures and personal belongings throughout her room, but seeing her story was powerful and could not be ignored. That was my goal. I wanted everyone that engaged with my mom to know the wonderful woman she was and would forever be.

        Word Walls are easy to create and install with next day shipping available. Please visit our website and check out our Facebook page.

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

        To Pumpkin Spice or Not to Pumpkin Spice

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

        Close your eyes and imagine cooler weather, that crisp air on your face, and the smell of pumpkin pie. That’s fall, a favorite season for some. For me it signals the end of my favorite season, summer. The summer is better for me because I love the warmer temperatures. I can still see the appeal for fall, it has the changing colors of trees and pumpkin spice.

        I, for one, am not a fan of pumpkin spice. Wait, don’t stop reading. Please let me ask you to engage your prefrontal cortex. For me, pumpkin spice is great in pie or toasted on pumpkin seeds. A yummy treat. Again, this is for me and I recognize that I am good at knowing what I like and dislike. It could also mean I need some help in appreciating other pumpkin spice treats. If you are thinking; Oh, try pumpkin spice ice cream, it’s not overly pumpkin. Then congratulations your prefrontal cortex has kicked in.

        Seeing the GEMS WorkbookPre-Order Now!

        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 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

        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!
        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

        Teepas's Speaking Engagements

        Share with Family, Friends, or Colleagues!