October 2019 Issue

Responding to Someone Who Says NO
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
Lauren with a Side of Lewy

by Lauren U, PAC Core Team Member

It has been a very busy few weeks for the U family. We are getting an entirely new back yard design. Everything except two trees has been removed and dug up and out. Exciting but also stressful. I'm forced to get dressed and out of bed. I have to be social, friendly, and reasonable with the work crew. I don't want people who are temporarily in my life to know about any diagnoses or any details about my life. It's unnecessary. Boundaries.

I spend as much time as possible upstairs, in my room, in my bed, with my dogs. The world outside requires too much energy, focus, attention, and interaction.

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

Dear PAC Consultant,

I take care of my mom. She has not officially been diagnosed with a specific type of dementia, but her doctor has done the initial assessments and says it is one of those diseases that falls under the umbrella, as you call it.

I am wondering if you can help me with a communication problem we are having. It seems like my mom just isn’t getting it much of the time. I actually thought she had a hearing problem because of the number of times she says what?” when I speak to her. I took her to an audiologist and, it turns out, her hearing is just fine. In fact, she can often hear things that I can’t. She actually startles when even the tiniest sounds are made. Yet, she still doesn’t seem to understand me.

                                                                                                                I am … Stumped in Seattle

In This Issue:

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!

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.

The Essence of Our Being Together
by Reverend Linn Possell,
PAC Speaker and Mentor

Out beyond the ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there. - Rumi

When someone is living with dementia, we often fall into the cycle of noticing what is different and then trying to fix what that is or trying to normalize the person. What this does is cause a separation between us, one that can become difficult to overcome. The barriers that we create between one another are what limits the possibilities of our life. But life is limitless, and therefore, how can we break down the barriers so that we are able to connect with someone with whom we may not understand anymore?

Communicating with Long Distance Family Members
by JoAnn Westbrook, N.H.A.,
PAC Product Development Lead and Certified Independent Trainer

As an Administrator in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, I have had many wonderful opportunities to work directly with family members who are struggling with the changes they see with their loved ones. Communication is such a key component to keeping an open dialogue.  However, when dementia becomes part of the picture, communication can become more complex, especially when family members are far away and not visiting on a regular basis.

October 26, 2019

Federal Way, WA

October 28, 2019

Virtual Event

October 29, 2019

Orillia, ON

November 7-8, 2019

St. Louis, MO

November 11, 2019

Virtual Event

November 12, 2019

St. Paul, MN

November 13, 2019

Virtual Event

November 13, 2019

Virtual Event

November 13, 2019

Virtual Event on Facebook

November 14, 2019

Livonia, MI

November 15, 2019

Grantville, PA

November 17, 2019

Garner, NC

November 17-19, 2019

Cary, NC

Teepa’s Top Three Tools for Communication 
How I am working with my boys to learn social and self-care skills with RESPECT 

by Amanda Bulgarelli,
PAC Chief Operations Officer

The great thing about PAC Skills is that they are universal for how we should, could, and might interact if we are thoughtful in our communication. Teepa’s recommendation of using Visual, then Verbal, and then and only then Touch cues has proven to be a life-saver for me with my two boys AND for working with those living with dementia.

In my house, we train ourselves to use the PAC Skills shown in this short video…

    1. Visual – Use substitution, not subtraction to take something away
    2. Verbal – Use reflection of their question or words to shift the conversation
    3. Touch – Use Hand-under-Hand® to offer support without taking over skills

These PAC Skills are life skills, we are having fun with them and trying to improve communication each day one interaction at a time.

Using the Consultant Cycle in Your Everyday Life While Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding or as I like to refer to it…Avoiding the Bridezilla Moments!

by Tracy Ouellette,
PAC Scheduling Coordinator

We have been planning the wedding for about a year now, every little detail has been discussed, rearranged, and discussed again.

We had already decided on the venue, the rest would fall into place so easily, or so I thought. Fast forward to six months later, decisions needed to be made. The typical conversation was something like this:

Cait: Mom, I don’t know if I should go with cranberry or maroon
Me: Just pick one they are basically the same color
Cait: The maroon is a deeper shade, but I like the cranberry
Me: I think you should go with Cranberry
Cait: But the maroon would go better with the shade of gray we picked
Me: Then just go with Maroon, you are wasting too much time and energy on this, I have more important things to do

From this one simple conversation Bridezilla was born. Looking back on this exchange I realized that I birthed Bridezilla. Bridezilla was born out of fear and anxiety, she grew from a place of not being validated, from a place of emotional distress. I quickly recognized what had happened.

Meaningful Relationships Start with Positive Personal Connections (PPCs) in any Language

by Deirdre Thornton,
PAC Mentor 

My family (2 adults, 2 kids, and a dog - minus the white picket fence) has lived in our house for eight years now. We reside in a mid-century neighborhood (as in 1950s), 10-minutes west of a bustling downtown core. The residential streets are lined with mature maples and oaks and small-ish one and-a-half story homes that all closely resemble one another, but have obviously been adapted over time to the owners’ preferences and needs.

I am from Western Canada and spent many years growing up on a farm – that’s right, a farm! - where my Dad grew crops (the standard ones – wheat, barley, canola). Mom grew beans, peas, and potatoes, and we had a small cria herd of llamas! My husband, on the other hand, is from Toronto, the largest city in Canada which often boasts that it is the Centre of the Universe (note my Canadian-UK spelling of centre versus the American version, center.  It was deliberate!  Not a mistake!)

Private Certifications 2020

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

When have you seen an enthusiastic and passionate PAC Certified Trainer return to their workplace full of new ideas, only to find that over time, they feel like an army of one, and don’t have the administrative or peer support to implement the changes they hoped for?  When ideas and enthusiasm start to fizzle, it can be very frustrating!  For some settings, a Private Certification might be the answer!

As we round the corner into 2020 and PAC launches a calendar of events for the upcoming year, Private Certifications are one of the options we continue to offer.

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU! While public certifications provide the opportunity for an individual to bring their awareness, skills, and knowledge back to their workplace, a private certification brings training to the workplace, and helps to create a team of PAC Certified Trainers and Coaches who work together in the same organization.

Upcoming Webinars

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!

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.

Don't delay! Registration is limited to 12 participants!

Join the series for a behind the scenes tour of how Teepa reaches audiences of all types, day in and day out. You will work with Teepa and PAC Mentors in whole group sessions and smaller, breakout sessions to allow you to practice and grow your presentation skills on Teepa's dementia content.
November 13, 2019
Session Five
December 19, 2019
Session Six
This Series is for those who are looking to increase opportunities for engagement with PLwD in a more meaningful way. Whether you are new to this content, already certified, or possibly interested in taking the certification course, this series is a great fit.
November 13, 2019

Session Five

What’s In Store Internationally for PAC in 2020?

by Courtney Chorba, MPH,
PAC International Events Coordinator, Education Specialist

We have loads of ideas brewing, and we should have the full calendar out to you all by November. As of now, here is what we have in store:


Here is what is currently scheduled for Canada in 2020:

  • 4/30/2020 (Thursday)
    • 1 day – Teepa Talk with BSO
    • Stoney Creek, Ontario
  • 5/13/2020 (Wednesday)
    • 1 day – PAC Champion Course
    • Winnipeg – Teepa will be there
  • 5/14/2020 (Thursday) through 5/15/2020 (Friday)
    • 2 days – PAC Certification Course
    • Winnipeg – Teepa will be there
  • 7/6/2020 (Monday)
    • 1 day – PAC Champion Course
    • Ottawa – Teepa will NOT be there
  • 7/7/2020 (Tuesday) through 7/8/2020 (Wednesday)
    • 2 days – Certification Course
    • Ottawa– Teepa will NOT be there
  • 12/1/2020 (Tuesday)
    • 1 day – Teepa Talk with HQS
    • Winnipeg, Manitoba

United Kingdom

Teepa and the PAC team will be returning to the UK for our annual summertime visit between Friday, June 26th through Saturday, July 11th. We’re planning for two certification courses: a Trainer Course, and we would like to hear from YOU on which second course type you would like to see offered.

13 Reasons To Sing and Play Music 

by Mary Sue Wilkinson,
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart 

  1. Music is fun - that’s why we say we PLAY music.
  2. Music makes us happy! Singing and music experiences cause our brain to release dopamine, the happiness hormone.
  3. Music and singing are something everyone can participate in together, regardless of age or physical or cognitive ability.
  4. Singing is simple. You don’t need to be a great singer or a musician to enjoy it.
  5. Singing is not messy. It can be done anywhere, anytime.
  6. Singing allows us to be creative. You can make up your own words to familiar tunes. “If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked a cake,” can become “If I knew you were coming, I’d have cleaned the house.”
  7. Music can soothe us and help us relax. Rocking and swaying to music can be especially helpful.
  8. Singing gives us the opportunity to make choices? “What songs should we sing?”
Alexa, Mom’s Friend Reflections of a daughter

by Judy Wagner, CPA

As an introduction, my name is Judy Wagner and I have just finished a long journey with my Mom, who had Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s symptoms. Mom passed away in February 2019 after being diagnosed for five years and struggling with dementia for maybe eight years in total. As further background, my Dad, who passed away five years before Mom, was the technology guru in our family. If there was a new gadget, Dad had to have it. As a child, I remember Dad watching the original Star Trek on TV and Captain James T. Kirk asking “Computer” to do various things. When Amazon released its Echo device with Alexa, it was like the Star Trek computer was in my house. I could ask Alexa all sorts of questions by just talking. As an aside, it is a call-out to Star Trek that one of the Echo’s wake words is not only Alexa and Amazon (of course), but also “Computer.”

Getting It Right

by Katie Garvey, OTRL, CAPS,
PAC Certified Independent Trainer and Coach

In the Spring of 2016, the United Methodist Retirement Community (UMRC) appealed to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for assistance to bring Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) to Towsley Village as part of the MHEF Health Aging initiative. To provide relationship-based care, staff and families needed a better understanding of dementia. This knowledge could empower them to respond compassionately, creatively, and appropriately based on the needs of the individual.  Families and professional care partners alike benefit from increased awareness and knowledge to improve skills and gain competencies in order to support people living with dementia well. As an established senior community resource, UMRC wanted to gain competency and expertise to share with a wider local sphere.

Attention Online Dementia Journal Readers!

We have an announcement. *Drum Roll Please*

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 Certification.

Certified Community members, please email Bonnie Tilley at bonniet@teepasnow.com if you would have something to share.

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.

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