July 2019

How to Offer Engagement Opportunities that Engage Us Both
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA 

A reality for many people is that as dementia advances, all available resources are focused on care provision, self-care tasks and supplies, and the basics of survival. Fiscal and time funds are devoted to simply getting through another day. It is not uncommon for care providers to feel that they have little or no time to spend doing something that is fun or interesting, when simply getting done what needs to be done seems to fill each waking hour.
When this happens, the moments of joy in being together or in finding purpose or value can all but disappear, leaving everyone involved feeling depleted and empty. But it does not need to be this way, and in fact, should not be allowed to be this way. If there is no joy in living then why keep doing it?
Lauren with a Side of Lewy

by Lauren U, PAC Core Team

A few weeks ago, Eddy and I took a painting class. He hadn't ever painted and I have only attempted one time in the past. Neither of us were sure we would create anything beautiful. I kept telling myself that art lived inside of me, I had been fairly successful with other art forms. I remained doubtful of my success.

The other students and the instructors were complete strangers. The room was hot and crowded. I do not go into new situations with a plan to disclose my LBD diagnosis. I find it unnecessary, especially when I'm with Eddy. I always wear my medical ID bracelet which displays my diagnosis, along with Eddy's and Teepa's contact information for emergencies. I do not want any special consideration, attention, or accommodations. I just want to paint.

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

Dear PAC Consultant,

My uncle has dementia and is becoming harder and harder to engage. I am finding it difficult to visit because, quite honestly, I don’t know what to do when I am with him. I know that I am not alone, as other family members have expressed the same thing. As a result, he has very few visitors, and I am sure he is both bored and sad. I feel so bad about this. Can you help?

                                                                                                                 Distressed in Denver

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!
Recent topics include:  
  • Three Things That Surprised Me About the Dementia Care Partner Support Series
  • Three Skills and Two Strengths Needed to Avoid Becoming the Lone Ranger in Dementia Care
and more!
Want to hear even more Dementia Care Partner Talk Show episodes?

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!

Phone Consultations

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.
Exploring the Effect of Training on PPA Skills
A Preview of a Pre-Post Assessment with USI-PAC Learners

by Beth A. D. Nolan, Ph.D.,
PAC Director of Research and Policy

In partnership with Positive Approach to Care (PAC), the University of Southern Indiana Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness continues to generate incredible results on the data gathered with the PAC Program!

The USI/PAC research team will be presenting a study on the Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) at the American Public Health Association annual conference in Philadelphia this November. The authors include Swateja Nimkar, Mary Catherine (Katie) Ehlman (PAC Certified Independent Trainer and Coach), Pamela Thomas (PAC Certified Independent Trainer), Beth Nolan, Dinko Bacic, and Teepa Snow. The study is titled Assessing changes in nursing home staff’s initial approach to engage PLwD after participating in an innovative dementia training program: A pilot study.  This paper addresses a gap in the scientific literature outlining how to initiate an interaction with people living with dementia (PLwD) to meet their unique individual needs.

Upcoming Sessions

July 23 - Enhancing Engagement Without Breaking the Bank

August 29 - Decoding Distress in Dementia

September 30 - How to Recognize the Various Dementias in Order to Provide Effective Support

(Full series includes 10 sessions.  Access to recordings of past sessions is provided upon payment.)
Five Steps to Stand Up
How to support one of the most important skills throughout this journey

by Amanda Bulgarelli,
PAC Chief Operations Officer

No walker? No problem!

Right now, if you are sitting down, think through the process of standing up… how many steps did you come up with? Check out this quick step by step video process to see the 5 basic steps I found.

Step 1:   Feet forward and flat (right under knee)

Step 2:   Hands rest on something with which to push against (arms of chair, your own legs, seat, etc…)

Step 3:   Lean forward (more forward, more forward, more)

Step 4:   Push with your legs to stand (once the weight is over the feet, legs start pushing)

Step 5:   Tuck hips forward and straighten back

July 17, 2019

Culpeper, VA

July 18, 2019

Naples, FL

July 22, 2019

Washington, DC

July 23, 2019

Virtual Event

July 25, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario

July 29, 2019

Olds, AB

July 31, 2019

Live on Facebook

August 1, 2019

Detroit, MI

August 7, 2019

Evansville, IN

August 7, 2019

Live on Youtube

August 8, 2019

Carterville, IL

August 19, 2019

Denver, CO

Ageless Grace
Brain/Body Fitness with Music

by Dawn Wiggins, RPN,
PAC Certified Independent Consultant, Trainer, and Mentor

“Rhythm and its entertainment of movement, (and often emotion), its power to ‘move’ people, in both senses of the word, may well have had a crucial cultural and economic function in human evolution, bringing people together, producing a sense of collectivity and community.” Oliver Sacks- Musicophilia

It is not a new revelation that there are a multitude of benefits in using music as a modality for working with people living with dementia. Music has been proven to reduce stress and improve mood, communication, and physical abilities as well as to engage people. Music has a unique ability to reach people that many have felt are unreachable. Even people at the later stages of the dementia journey seem to respond positively to music.

When dementia takes away the ability to remember family members or life events, music can reach the soul and connect the emotional memories that are very much still there. Musical memory endures even when the disease has taken so many other facets of our brain.

TED Talks and PAC Principles
Read the Entire Book!

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

I was listening recently to a TED Talk by Malavika Varadan recorded January 11, 2016 entitled Seven Ways to Make a Conversation With Anyone and was struck by the parallel of content and our basic PAC principles!

The speaker described every person as a book—we are whole stories, not just a page or a chapter! When you reach for a book that you are curious about, you want to immerse yourself in it and read it from cover to cover, not just glance at a page or two and then say you’ve read the whole thing!

To gain a true read of another person and have a conversation with others, the following principles were suggested. See if you hear any similarities between these concepts and the Positive Approach philosophy!

What I’ve Learned Is… Dementia Doesn’t Have to Be Devastating

by Mary Lee,
PAC Lead Outreach Coordinator and Trainer

My journey with dementia began in 2004 when a neurologist confirmed my mother had Vascular Dementia. Okay, so at least we knew what we were dealing with. Mom received a prescription we were told would help, but what we didn’t get is guidance, education, or any resources to contact to learn more.

I scoured the internet, read articles and books, attended educational seminars, and found some information, but was overall disappointed and still searching for detailed information caregivers should know regarding care. I learned some basic knowledge, like it would get worse over time, and currently there isn’t a cure; but I wanted to know specifics on how to prepare for the progression, what to expect in order to provide my mom with the best care possible. Being an only child, and a woman, I knew a lot of her hands-on care would fall on me. As happens sometimes, my dad remained very stubborn, not wanting to learn anything, or make any changes whatsoever to their daily interactions. Lucky for him, my mom was pleasant and easy going - plus they stuck to a routine. I began attending a support group which I found to be extremely helpful. Being with other family members who were also living it provided some comfort and a few tips, but also showed me that they too did not know much either. We were all seeking more.

Making the Most of Your Visits
Engaging Our Friends Living with Dementia

by Lindsey Lewis, Ph.D.,
PAC Certified Independent Trainer and Coach

“Let’s meet for coffee!” This is one of my favorite things to hear from my friends. Maybe because I love a good cup of coffee (at any hour) or maybe it is because I cherish the connections I make with those I love. Regardless of if you are a coffee drinker or not, surely you have a favorite way to connect with friends and family: afternoon tea, going on a bike ride together, meeting at the movies, or relaxing by the pool. But what happens when our friends or family are living with Dementia, how do we recreate these connections? Physical, emotional, and intellectual changes become roadblocks and we simply STOP. Stop meeting, stop visiting, stop engaging because it seems so hard.

This article will provide a few practical examples of engaging people living with Dementia with little preparation and little cost. Use these suggestions as a jumping off point for creating memorable moments despite the memory loss.

The Medical Appointment – Be Prepared 

by Kathy Tuckey, MA, PAC Certified Independent Trainer, Mentor, and Speaker

The nurse said, “Good morning, I will be taking your blood pressure first.”

“No!” Betty said. “You are not!”

“It will only take a minute.” the nurse said

“No!” Betty repeated. “You will not.”

“Betty,” I said. “She only wants to take your blood pressure.”

“No!” Betty, looking at the nurse, repeated more sternly. “You will not.”

“I will come back in a minute.” the nurse said

After she left the room, I said, “Betty, why won’t you let her take your blood pressure?”

Betty said. “What if she doesn’t give it back?”

The year was 1996 and this was the first medical appointment that Betty, my mother-in-law, had with a new primary care physician after she had come to live with my husband and me. It was about two years after Betty’s Alzheimers diagnosis. In that moment, I knew communication was taking on a whole new language and I was going to have to learn it. What an eye opener, and if only I knew then what I know now.

Monthly Music Moment

by Mary Sue Wilkinson, Founder - Singing Heart to Heart 

The Power of Connecting
For My Dad

by Beth Douglas 
Marketing - PAC Certifications

One afternoon a few years ago, I met a woman who had lost her husband to cancer. “Alzheimers disease is nothing compared to cancer,” she said. “Alzheimers just makes people forget things. Cancer kills people.” I was speechless. I asked her if she had ever known anyone who had Alzheimers or any form of dementia. She answered, “Well, none of my family members have had it. They all remained sharp as tacks right up until the end. They were college educated.”

I realized at that moment that there is still so much ignorance about dementia-related illness. I lost my dad (who graduated from Boston University) to dementia and remember sitting with him while he struggled to complete a story, he was trying to tell me. I knew the stories were in there. If I was patient and encouraging, he could sometimes piece them together.


Changing people's lives and ways of thinking with just your presence and your information is no easy task. 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.

August 1, 2019

Session Two

September 24, 2019

Session Three

October 16, 2019

Session Four

November 13, 2019

Session Five

The Engagement 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.
August 5, 2019

Session Two

September 24, 2019

Session Three

October 6, 2019

Session Four


These sessions were designed to create a learning space for individuals who are providing care and support for PLwD.

July 23, 2019

How to Provide Support When Physical Resistance Presents

August 29, 2019

Strategies to Get Someone to a Healthcare Provider When They Don't Want to Go

September 30, 2019

Exploring the Causes and Meaning of Sundowning

(Full series includes 10 sessions.  Access to recordings of past sessions is provided upon payment.)
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.

Each edition of the ODJ contains articles for daily living and videos that demonstrate hands-on skills. 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 it's affiliates so that you get the latest news on developing programs, training tools, and advocacy efforts/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!
July 31, 2019

Live on Facebook

August 7, 2019

Live on Youtube

August is just around the corner! Where in the world is Teepa Snow?

As the summer chugs along, PAC has been doing loads of events in the US and internationally. We just finished wrapping up a full week’s worth of PACing in the UK, including two certification courses and two speaking engagements, all in five days-time.

In just a couple short weeks, Teepa will not only be changing countries again, but changing hemispheres and seasons as well! We will be flying to the other side of the globe, leaving the current summery warmth of the northern hemisphere to dive into the winter of Australia.

Teepa will be visiting Oz for a series of events in four different cities beginning on August 12th in Tasmania, and wrapping up on the 22nd, offering a large Teepa Talk to the Sydney-siders. 

Australian Events Schedule

12th August 2019, Hobart, Tasmania

Skills Workshop* and evening Teepa Talk, hosted by the Wicking Centre for Dementia Education and Research

*Please note that the Skills Workshop is a private event.

15th August 2019, Adelaide, South Australia

Teepa Talk, hosted by the Centre for Dementia Learning - Dementia Australia

20th August 2019, Melbourne, Victoria

Teepa Talk, hosted by Centre for Dementia Learning - Dementia Australia

22nd August 2019, Sydney, New South Wales

Teepa Talk, hosted by Uniting


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