November 2019 Issue
Did You Notice?
Each and every day any one of us might come in contact with, or have an experience with, someone who is living with some form of dementia. The interaction might seem a little odd, a little off, or outright strange and unexpected.
The question is what are we noticing, if anything, and more importantly what could or should we do? For the general public, it is simply a question of kindness and humane concern. For friends and family members, it is an opportunity to investigate what is changing and create a plan of action, or at least a new awareness about current situations. For public service and health services, it can be a critical moment, a possible turning point in the lives of many, or the end of life for someone.
At Positive Approach® to Care (PAC), we are always seeking to offer opportunities to turn unawareness into awareness and knowledge into skills, so that change for the better can happen.
Lauren with a Side of Lewy
Attending the PAC Retreat
by Lauren U, PAC Core Team Member
What happens when 50 PAC people get together at a summer camp? So much! There were endless possibilities for learning, practicing, playing, laughing, and socializing. There were sweet reunions and exciting first time, in-person meetings. I met a lot of new people and I got to spend time with some of my closest friends. I tried to participate fully but did sometimes need to get away from the activity, noise, and exuberance. As usual, PAC took great care of me. My bed was close enough to feel safe and just far away enough from the activity to get my head together. The PAC noise is, by the way, happy noise. Still, I did need an escape and I was allowed it whenever needed. Never did I feel alone. Never do I feel judged. I joined in as much as possible and was always welcomed when I returned. My PAC family did not forget about me and checked in often, but not too much.
Dear PAC Consultant,
I can’t believe it’s the holiday season again. Usually I would be happy as it has been a favorite time of year for my family and me over the years. But not anymore.
My mom has dementia, and everything is different now. Just the thought of the upcoming holidays is destroying my holiday spirit. First, the buildup. Helping my mom buy gifts is about as frustrating as it gets. While she wants to be generous and get gifts for her children, grandchildren, and friends, she is not able to manage the process of deciding what to get whom, and an outing to the mall is a complete nightmare. Multiple stores, multiple times in the same stores, indecisiveness over every. single. gift. Then, helping her keep track of what she has gotten for whom is quite the exercise in futility. How many times will I be asked, “Did I get anything for (fill in one of about 25 names)?” Ugh!
Monthly Music Moment
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart
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.
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In This Issue:
Coming next month! How has PAC helped to shape communities?
Hear about the growth in some of the organizations we have worked with!
How did they get their program off the ground?
Who is their flight crew and who guides them from the tower?
How did they get their skills to a new altitude?
What is their destination?
How will they know when they have arrived or will they seek a new destination?
How has this journey impacted them?
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View the currently open Certifications here. The full 2020 calendar will be published in January! Stay tuned! The 2020 Certifications now include a Champion Course. Click here to learn more about what these courses cover!
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Celebrate Every Day, Change Your Experience
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have. But rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
- Frederick Keonig
Thanksgiving is around the corner and while we all know that this day has been set aside to recognize and be grateful for the good things that we have in our life, often this is a time when we feel regret or sorrow for things that may be missing or have changed in our life. When we are living with dementia, whether as a person who has brain change or as a loved one, there are moments in our life when we experience ambiguous loss. This grief is different from the grief that comes from a death. Ambiguous loss can come from a variety of sources such as a change in relationship, if someone does not remember us, a different family dynamic, or when our loved one no longer lives with us – to name a just a few. Holidays and celebrations can become even more difficult when someone is experiencing ambiguous loss. But rather than looking at the changes and wishing things were different…what if we could appreciate our life even as it looks different than what we had imagined or hoped for?
Holiday Tips: Get the 411 Before They Call 911
by Laura Case,
PAC Customer Service Support
The holidays are right around the corner. It’s a time we look forward to all year to be around family and friends. Many are gathering around the dinner table enjoying a feast, there’s a room full of talking and laughter, and this is sometimes the only time that many can gather in one place to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. With all of the eating, talking, laughing, and watching of TV such as a football game or a Hallmark movie, it seems like everyone is having a great time, but wait, let’s take a timeout! How are Grandma and Grandpa doing with all of this commotion and togetherness? I know we all love gathering around to catch up and also having the grandparents around to see everyone too, but how are they REALLY doing?
Tis the Season…To Support a Care Partner
PAC Mentor and Certified Independent Consultant
November is National Family Caregivers Month. Though recognized publicly in November, being a care partner obviously extends throughout the year. With this in mind, and heading into the holiday season, it’s a good time to explore ways to provide support for care partners of those living with dementia. If you are a family member, friend, neighbor, or fellow member of a club/congregation/organization of a person living with dementia and their care partner, please consider the following suggestions this holiday season and beyond.
Keep in mind that dementia is a team sport. While there is often one person who is considered the primary care partner, they cannot do it alone. Think of ways that you can offer support, both physically and emotionally.
“Hey…Hellooo? I can’t do this by myself you know. They’re your Parents too!”
by Diane Slovin,
PAC Organizational Outreach Director
In honor of National Family Caregiver Support month, I thought it would be interesting to look at Caring for the Care Partner, but not exactly self-care in the moment – although that is monumentally important. I wanted to look into how we are caring for ourselves in regards to nurturing and preserving relationships with our siblings, while we are at the same time serving as caregivers for our parents or another elderly loved one in our family. After all, our siblings are the ones who will be with us for the long haul (we hope) even after our parents have passed away. It’s smart to think about the dynamics of those relationships (now and even in these times of stress, frustration, and sometime, misdirected anger) and have a plan for who does what - when, how, and from where.
PAC Dementia Engagement Tips for the Holidays
by Beth Tesfay,
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, and advocacy efforts and ideas from around the world.
Join the PAC Community of Care!
Learn more or subscribe to the ODJ here.
Live on YouTube
The Care Partner Support Series - Five Sessions to Change, 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. 2020 Sessions are now open with the first one beginning January 13, 2020!
Don't delay! Registration is limited to 12 participants!
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.
International Recap: 2019
by Courtney Chorba,
PAC International Certifications and Events Coordinator
What a year it has been. While Teepa and her company, Positive Approach to Care (PAC), are US based, dementia knows no boundaries. For years, we have heard from friends and soon to be friends, wanting to know more, be trained in the Positive Approach, and of course, see Teepa in person. As Teepa’s reach and PAC’s message continues to grow outside of the US, we have been traveling all over the world to meet with like-minded people to help change the world of dementia care, one mind at a time. In 2019 alone, we met with people on three continents, four countries, countless cities, and that was just in person. Our virtual reach continues to grow. Take a look back with me at Teepa and PAC’s international work in 2019.
Attention Online Dementia Journal Readers!
We have created a Certified Community Corner, or C3 as we like to call it. Folks who go through our PAC Certification process become PAC Certified Independent Professionals.
Each month we will share how this group is spreading Dementia awareness in their communities. Stay tuned for further details of how our Certified Community members are utilizing their PAC Certifications.
Certified Community members, please email Bonnie Tilley at email@example.com if you have something to share.
Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life
by Kay Adams, LCSW,
PAC Mentor and Certified Independent Consultant and Trainer
As a PAC Certified Independent Consultant and Trainer, I strive every day to educate and support care partners about dementia in the best way I can, thereby improving the lives of people living with dementia in the process. My goal is to empower care partners to effectively face caregiving challenges with a sense of confident awareness. Some days my job seems fairly simple and straight-forward, but other days the issues I come up against with families are deep and complex—with no easy answers or obvious solutions in sight.
Over the years, one of the Ah Has that I have gleaned in terms of providing care for the care partner, is the powerful role that perspective plays in the caregiving experience. When it comes to perspective—what we see depends not only what we look AT but where we look FROM. I often challenge care partners to consider the lens through which they view their caregiving situations. The lens is important because our personal vantage points and belief systems influence our perceptions and experiences of reality when it comes to caring for someone living with dementia. What we know and understand about dementia and how it impacts the person that we're caring for matters in terms of how well we cope (or not) as care partners, and in the quality of care we are able to provide. As the writer Ram Das so aptly put it: “The thing about perspective is: Something happens. It means nothing. We make up a story about what it means based on what we feel. This story becomes our truth.”