September 2020 Issue

Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L

It’s so much more than a line from the Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas song. Recognizing that temporal lobe function is complex and diverse is critical in continuing to offer support and interactions that work for someone who is beginning to develop brain changes. Noticing that you and another person may not be:

  • taking in the same auditory data
  • blending the data from each side in the same way
  • processing the language component of the data at the same speed or in the same way
  • connecting the auditory information with the same memory files
  • using contextual cues, or facial recognition information to connect names and relationships to faces in matching ways
  • using the same words to describe the same items or actions even though that is the intent

Recognizing the changes is critical for an effective interaction and sustaining changing relationships. Appreciating the changes that happen in the temporal lobes, when someone is living with dementia, can dramatically alter how we decide to communicate, interact, and engage with one another for better outcomes. It can also provide us with almost magical opportunities for experiences that bring joy, satisfaction, comfort, and pain relief when we use what remains available and is powerful for someone who is living with dementia and those who would offer support and care.

Continue reading to further understand temporal lobes and the PAC Approach

A Message from Positive Approach to Care  

At PAC - Black Lives Matter

At Positive Approach to Care® (PAC) we strive to be a company that supports and includes everyone involved in the world of dementia.  We attempt to seek out and find out about others and adapt our approach, offerings, and care routines to match different cultures, heritages, personal life stories, personal preferences and abilities, and age cohorts. We believe that through an appreciation of each human being and their history, story, and heritage we can more fully support them as they live life with dementia. We believe that helping their families and friends better appreciate what is happening to them, can and does change how life happens.

In all that we do, we are committed to exploring in what ways our perspectives and points of view impact others and either enhance or impede communication and interactions. Dementia certainly affects all races and all people in one way or another. And yet, there is absolutely no denying that institutionalized racial policies and biases have negatively impacted people of color in so many ways for so many years. 

Continue reading the complete statement

Fun with Frequencies and Phonetics
by Jessica Pelkey,  
PAC Certified Trainer, Coach, and Mentor 

What was intended to be a serious and neuroscientific article instead became a barrel of family fun when sharing the original concepts with my sister led to activities that surprised and delighted us. Grab your mates and get out your earphones, the links in this article are quick activities that are better done together.

Continue reading to try some sensory illusions

PAC Virtual Conference - Are You Curious Yet?
by Shelly Edwards, MLS,   
PAC Business Development Coordinator, and
Ansley Ward, Digital/Social Media Specialist 

So, 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.

View this clip of Teepa, from a recent Teepa For Ten, her daily 8am Facebook Live session, to get an idea of what you can expect.

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.

Isolation is Hard for Everyone
by Laura Case,  
PAC Customer Service Support 

Definition of Isolation: the condition of being alone, especially when this makes you feel unhappy.

I have heard the word isolation too many times these days, especially when we talk and hear about COVID. In July, my 23-year-old, healthy son tested positive for COVID. He had mild symptoms, but he was isolated away from our family for two weeks of quarantine. It was tough for him and for us. Lots of hand washing, Clorox wiping, plastic glove wearing, and masks being worn during these times. The rest of the family got tested and we tested negative, thankfully, but in order to remain negative we veered on the side of caution and stayed away from him even though it was hard being in the same home.

Continue reading the complete article

Become a PAC Conference Sponsor and receive a special discount for your members!

Receive a personalized video from Teepa like the one below. Each video will include your logo and a coupon code for 10% off for your followers to our PAC conference in November.

Additional Sponsorship Packages available that include logo placement in the program and the Whova (Conference) app.

Slots are limited, so reach out today to help us make this year's virtual conference a huge success.

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.

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 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

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!

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

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

Everyone in the house is asleep except me. Eddy dreams and the dogs rest in peaceful slumber. All I want is to sleep. The house is full of activity even when it appears uninhabited. The howls and moans and whispers and pounding and laughter keep me scared and awake. They keep reminding me that all is not safe nor well. Reassurance means nothing if it doesn't stop the noise in my head, in my home, in my world. I only want to sleep. Nightmares lose their power once awake. There is no relief from the fear when it is provided for daily consumption. I cannot chase a monster I cannot touch. I cannot keep stuffing the edges to keep them out when it has been proven unsuccessful. Up and down. Up and down. All of the banging on the walls, groaning on the staircase, mocking me in my home and daring me to step forward is their daily task. I copy their words but don't know what I mean. I only want sleep.

      Continue reading the complete article

      I Love Dementia - 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

      I’ll be honest, I have been curating this book, I Love Dementia: Inspirational Stories of People Affected by Dementia, for more than a year. Fiddling with the right combination of stories, authors, and concepts. I have put my everything into this book. So, you’re getting that as well as the fifteen incredible authors who have put together their real-life stories, poems, and journals to reflect what it’s like to live with or love someone with dementia. Putting together this book was exhausting and wonderful and a once-in-a-lifetime process and I am just now getting the confirmation I hoped for. It was all so incredibly worth it.

      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.

      How It All Began - Our Journey

      by Laurel Hed,
      Geriatric Care Manager

      Although we know that everyone’s journey is different, there are also many similarities. So, in 500 words or less I will give you the highlights of our journey so far with my mom and Alzheimers Disease.

      In 2006, My father died, so my siblings and I all pitched in to help mom. She really did well in those early years after dad’s death. She was very well known for her homemade buns which she baked for my brother’s catering business. She was involved in church groups and sewed beautiful quilts. She did have to learn to pump gas, drive through a car wash, and haul things to the transfer station.

      Seeing the GEMS WorkbookPre-Order Now!

      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!

      Activating Temporal Lobes Activates Learning
      by Jami Myers, MOT/L,   
      OT Clinical Specialist, and
      Julie Gala, MA, CCC-SLP, Senior SLP Clinical Specialist  

      In a world of ever-changing policy and procedure for many healthcare workers, the last thing your amygdala needs is two overly eager clinicians introducing a new skill set, right?

      Who has time for this?

      What more could I possibly need to know, I have known this resident for 5 years?

      Great, another webinar that could be an email, I’m sure!

      These are all concerns Julie and I navigate daily as we begin to change the culture of care within our company.

      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.

      Struggling to Connect During the Pandemic? Try this Simple Solution

      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"

      Have you ever called a family member or a friend on their birthday to sing Happy Birthday to them? In my family this is a common occurrence. When family or friends are far away, this simple act lets them know you care and always brings a smile.

      Due to the restrictions in place to keep residents of senior care communities safe from COVID-19, family members and friends are most likely restricted from in-person visits. This reality affects people living with dementia in an especially cruel way. Window visits can be confusing and conversations on the phone or even via Zoom or Skype can be challenging.

      Continue reading to hear the solution

      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.

      The Artistic Side of Judy
      by Kathryn Quinlan,
      PAC Products and Services Coordinator, and
      Judith Stock, PAC Core Team Member 

      This month, we are exploring language and the temporal lobes. One of the gifts that we can celebrate is that in most dementias, there are retained abilities in the right temporal lobe. One of these abilities is poetry.

      This month in the Arts Corner, I would like to introduce you to Judy Stock. Judy is a new member of our Core Team. She has been kind enough to share some of her poetry written a few years back. Although she no longer picks up a pen to write, she is still very active as a visual artist.

      JS 2020

      When we were choosing the poems to share, she shared some of her collages. We realized how well the collage with the cat and dog matched up with one of her poems, Maude, the Dog. Then, she decided to create a new collage, inspired by the other poem she chose to share, Spending the Winter in the Valley. This one is hot off the press. It is inspiring how Judy is still able to express herself artistically and is in fact inspired by her own poetry from years ago. Enjoy!

      Spirituality Corner

      Does Language Matter?

      by Amanda Snow Bulgarelli,
      PAC Chief Operations Officer

      Connections with Christine - Why and How?

      by Christine Browdy,
      Director of REACH Community, and PAC Certified Independent Consultant, Coach, and Trainer

      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.

      How Language Changes Can Impact Relationships Between PLwD and Their Care Partners
      by Kay Adams, LCSW, 
      PAC Certified Consultant,  Trainer, and Mentor

      The complexity of the human brain is nothing short of miraculous and something that researchers and scientists are a long ways from fully understanding. However, we have learned some valuable information over the years about the function that the temporal lobes play in the brain. This information can be extremely helpful for care partners to be aware of in order to effectively communicate and cultivate the best relationships possible with the people in their lives who are living with brain change or dementia.

      Continue reading the complete article


      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

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

      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


      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.

      This is Your Brain on Ice Cream - Part 3

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

      Try this with me:

      Put your tongue to your teeth in the bottom of your mouth and say this phrase out loud.

      I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

      Did it sound weird? Okay, try it louder this time and really emphasize each word. Bonus points if you record yourself, listen to it, and share the recording with a friend. Still sounds weird, right?

      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. 

      Companion Cat

      by Keith Icove,
      PAC Lead Product Coordinator

      We all need and crave companionship and affection. Sometimes, even when we have a significant other, family member, partner or spouse, life can be so busy that we can forget how important our role as a companion is. For many of us, we have the ability to proactively express our need for companionship and explicitly ask for affection, I need a hug or Can we sit and chat for a while. Oftentimes, many of us can turn to our non-human family members, our pets, for companionship and affection. As a cat person married to a very independent husband, I know I can get plenty of affection as long as I ask for it, but I know that it’s not always on my schedule. Our cat Lucy, won’t come when I call (except for food) but I know I can always pick her up and give her some hugs, and she’ll nuzzle up against me. For me, a few minutes of holding and petting Lucy brings comfort and relaxation that helps the stress of the day melt away.

        Continue reading the complete article

        Words to Spur Action

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

        In the past few months, I have had multiple conversations with a variety of organizations regarding their latest care victories, insights, and challenges. Can you relate to any of the positives? Have you seen, heard, or felt any of the more challenging comments? Here is a random mix of some quotes:

        COVID seems like a silver lining. It has brought to the forefront a new awareness of care practices and procedural improvements that we should have made long ago.

        I have begun to realize the true dedication and desire of our staff to make a difference at this time.

        It’s really a challenge to hire and retain staff these days.

        We work with the state health department, but tell them, "This facility is their home, the staff are their family."

        Continue reading to learn more about PAC’s virtual 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 products not produced by PAC. 

        2021 Certifications - Travel or No Travel

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

        I’m curious what do you think about travel in 2021?

        Take our survey to share your thoughts with me.

        We just finished putting the 2020 calendar back together after everything changed back in March. It’s September and I’m still trying to make it to October or November. I am so over 2020, I can’t wait for 2021. That’s it! I’m doing it! I’m going on that epic trip I’ve been dreaming of all my life; flip flops, bathing suit, sunscreen, and mask. Check, check, check, and check. Ready to go.

        Registration for the 2020 PAC Conference is Open! 

        Need an umbrella to come in out of the rain?

        Join us November 16th-17th for the 2nd Annual PAC Conference (held virtually)

        ∗ Register by September 1st to receive a free t-shirt ∗

        Check it out and register today

        Share with Family, Friends, or Colleagues!