Pleasurable Activities with One Other Person
Sustaining Intimate Relationships
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
When someone is living with
dementia, the ability and interest in maintaining or engaging in intimate relationships may change, or they may actually become less pleasurable. It may become less pleasurable for one partner or for both people, but for different reasons.
What causes these changes? It could be the symptoms of the condition that are affecting the person's abilities or it could simply be that opportunities for, or scheduling of, these interactions become more challenging. It might be that those around the pair react and create situations of discomfort for the partner or the person living with dementia making the entire experience less comfortable and more frustrating. It is also possible that one of the partners no longer finds the degree or type of intimacy is pleasurable at all and actually becomes distressing or overwhelming.
What Brings You Comfort in Good Times and Bad?
by Rosanne Burke, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
"Cure Sometimes, Treat Often, Comfort Always"
What is your favorite place in the whole world? Where do you find the most comfort? Is it your home, backyard, church, coffee shop, parent's house? What is it about this place that provides you with the feeling that there's no other place on earth quite like it?
Places provide comfort for a variety of reasons. It may be the people that are in these places, your family and friends that know you best and always seem to know what to say to make you feel better. It may be the things that line the shelves and fill the walls. Maybe you have a collection of seashells gathered from fun-filled days at the beach that remind you of building sand castles with your kids, or a collection of worn leather books that remind you of days lost reading with a warm cup of tea in hand. Maybe it's the pictures of your loved ones that fill the walls that bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. Or maybe it is just the feeling you get when you are in that particular place or space. A feeling of love, peace, joy, safety.
Helpful Tools For Your Team
This colorful educational poster shares the characteristics of each GEM from Teepa's GEMS® dementia classification model. Learn more about the cognitive and physical abilities of Sapphire, Diamond, Emerald, Amber, Ruby, and Pearl. This colorful 22" x 28" poster promotes positive perspectives and realistic expectations for interaction with changing states and abilities due to brain change. Teepa's model encourages care partners to learn to assess "moments" of ability and respond accordingly.
Caring for your loved one living with a form of dementia in the home setting can create challenges those on the outside can only imagine. Without a strong support system and hands-on skills, this very difficult job can easily leave caregivers feel stressed, overwhelmed, and feeling isolated.
Would you like to know how to build a care environment that best balances your loved one's needs with your own well-being and abilities?
A Dementia Friendly Home:
One Family's Creative Approach
by Brenda Roberts, PAC Certified Trainer
Shortly after my husband, Mark, received a diagnosis of young-onset dementia we made the life-altering decision to live with our daughter and her family. Initially, our plan was to sell our respective homes and combine our resources to buy a house together.
As we began looking for a new home our grandchildren started to identify all the things that Pa and the entire family would miss. They asked. "What about Pa's barn and all of his tools?" "Will we be able to have another garden spot?" "Pa's apple trees are just starting to produce fruit and the raspberry bushes are at their peak production." "Will a move mean that Pa will have to give up the tractor and no longer provide 'hay-less' rides?" "What about the fire pit, summer bonfires, and where will we practice archery?"
Brainstorming About Bathing:
The Sensory Experience
by Loy Campbell, MS, OTR/L, PAC Mentor and Trainer
It may seem strange to those of us not living with dementia that a simple part of our daily routine that we have done so easily all these years can become such a dreaded task. Yet family care partners will often tell me that assisting the person living with dementia in getting clean in the shower or bath is one of their biggest challenges. In fact, when I first started my role as an occupational therapist in home health, my second patient ever was a 70-year-old woman, Helen, who was living with dementia and her husband, Rob, identified that assisting her in the shower was his primary challenge during their daily routine. On my first visit to their home, Rob told me that Helen used to enjoy showering in the evenings for most of her life, but now at shower time she often shouted at Rob, would say the water was too hot or too cold, and would turn away when he tried to help her wash her face. She was not able to sequence through the steps of showering to do the task independently anymore, so Rob was used to helping, but he was becoming worried about the unpleasantness of the experience for Helen. Rob had also noticed that Helen wasn't understanding his explanations for why she needed to shower or what they were going to do; often she would simply refuse and walk back into the living room.
Increasing Independence Without Sacrifice
by Donovan Morrison, CEO, Luna Lights
how older adults can often feel when presented with new safety measures. Whether it's using a walker to get around, wearing an alert device or just needing extra help with everyday tasks, older adults are often resistant, not because they don't want to be safer, but because they're simply human. As humans, we all take great pride in our appearance, health, and independence. Being told we can't do something on our own takes a little piece of that away, no matter what the additive solution is.
Sacred Places: A Meditation
by Linn Possell, PAC Lead Mentor Coach
Sacred places are where we feel safe and connected, they are places where we often say what is really on our minds and in our hearts, in prayer and/or meditation. When we live with dementia, whether that be our own cognitive change or the change being in someone for whom we support, it can be difficult to find space and places where we feel as if we are safe. Take a moment to think about, visualize, hear the sounds of, or feel what it feels like to be in a place that is sacred to you. What makes this place sacred? What are the sights, sounds, sensations of this place? Are there sacred symbols or sacred people to you in these places? Often, people affected by dementia stop going to these places for a variety of reasons. However, it is still very important that we have these sacred places in our lives. Is there a place either inside your home or outside where you can place or find a scared sight, sound, or sensation that will help you focus and feel safe enough to say what is on your mind or in your heart?
Looking at a UCLA study that talks about a cure for dementia in terms that we can agree with...
by Amanda Bulgarelli, PAC Mentor
It seems that everywhere we look nowadays, people are touting that we are so close in the search for the cure for Alzheimers. It can be easy to get swept up into the excitement that surrounds baby steps in research, but so far, there is always a letdown once the trials move to humans or a larger scale. While everyone would love to find a magic pill that fixes this disease, we still aren't quite there yet. Teepa's motto, "Until there's a cure, there's care," highlights PAC's mission to change the culture and the skill for those living with dementia while the researchers try to find that magic bullet. At UCLA, they focused on a slightly different kind of magic cure to prevent and curtail the effects of dementia.
An Emerald Music Moment
with Mary Sue
by Mary Sue Wilkinson, Founder - Singing Heart to Heart
With a gentle smile, Bob shared with me that he had memory loss. He was trying to recall the name of one of his favorite songs. Not knowing the song title didn't dampen his enthusiasm. As our music session began, he pushed up to his feet so that he could dance - with his imaginary partner. He held "her" tenderly as he closed his eyes, wrapped his arms around himself, and caressed his own cheek. He swayed to the music and let the song take him to a place he remembered.
Bob likes rock and roll, Elvis, and Blue Suede Shoes. He could be any man on any dance floor. He laughs as he dances. When we sing Home on the Range, he joins me in adding the coyote's howls. Without being prompted, he adds the sound of a horn to I've Been Working on the Railroad. He cups his hands around his mouth as we sing other familiar lyrics: "Can't you hear the captain shouting; Dinah blow your horn!"
Are You a Cognitive Fascist?
by Dallas Dixon
Dallas Dixon began to fall in love with God when he was 40. He is married to his wife Sonia, for 30 plus years, and has two daughters Alia and Ariel, and two almost daughters Kayla and Sara, and a granddaughter Lefty Rolwood.
He is a graduate of Princeton University and Seton Hall University. A former criminal defense attorney, Dixon transitioned to education upon founding the Emily Fisher Charter School in Trenton, New Jersey in 1998. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/Vascular Dementia in 2014. He spends his time in Maine and in New Jersey.
The photo you see above is Dallas' chosen new identity to present to you. When you are diagnosed with dementia, you are often given all kinds of new identities, though many are not ones that you want. Given the opportunity to choose a new identity, rather than having one given to him, he chose this photo of his former student, Ms. Dodson, as she represents strength, compassion, and he would give millions to have that be him in this picture! Growing up I was taught that only bad people were racist. Then I found out that a close family relative would not sell his house to a black family. And the family lyrics were don't worry about it, you can't change it, he is too old and set in his ways. And, also racistly, I think I half bought it. That leads me to say as I've said at Fisher many, many times that I am a racist and you are most likely one too. My definition is if you act racistly, make a move, thought, wish, or prayer that is based on a race analysis rather than a personal one, you are a racist. No different than if you do a homicide once, you are a murderer. There are some who say only white people can be racist because the white forbearers invented the system to oppress, so how can the victims be racist?
In my view, this is one of those statements that sound right, in fact is historically correct, but doesn't hold up in the whiz of the world. Racism is catching. Even though my people invented it, it is catching to all people - black, white, yellow, brown, red and, wherever it lands and isn't vomited back up can be unleashed perniciously on whomever.
PAC London Symposium
How to Bridge the Gap of
August 22, 2017 / 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Premier Meetings at Heathrow Airport (Bath Road),
Meeting Room No 8
15 Bath Road,
Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 2AB
Join Teepa Snow and the Positive Approach to Care Team for an engaging evening filled with plentiful opportunities for informal interchanges among all the speakers and guests gathered to embrace PAC methods, skills and philosophies on how to effectively support people around the world that are living with dementia.
Learn how you can bridge the gap from traditional caregiving into care partnering. This alone will revolutionize the care of all people living with dementia or other brain changes regardless of where you reside in the world. Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to hear the leading educators from around the world share the latest data pertinent to Dementia Care from their respective regions.
We invite Dementia Care Advocates, PAC Learners, and PAC Certified Trainers to attend this complimentary event on August 22, 2017.
Please note space is limited to the first 30 people that register before July 31, 2017.
To register for all UK events, contact
Florine Russell via
August 21 & 22
Premier Meetings Heathrow Airport
August 3, 2017
August 9, 2017
Mid-America Institute on Aging Pre-Conference
August 25, 2017
PAC Skill Proficiency Training Workshop
August 29, 2017
13th Annual Caregiver Conference
August 30, 2017
September 20, 2017
29th Annual WRAP Conference
Stevens Point, WI
September 28, 2017
New Richmond, WI
September 29, 2017
11th Annual Caregiver Conference
New Richmond, WI
October 24, 2017
November 15, 2017
Nursing and Social Workers Conference
Bolton Landing ,NY
December 7, 2017
Transforming the Journey
Upcoming Webinars in the
Getting Connected Series
BUILDING SKILL TO SUPPORT GEMS
August 4, 2017
9-10:30 am EST
9-10:30 am EST
9-10:30 am EST
9-10:30 am EST
9-11 am EST (2 hours)
UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT DEMENTIAS
Cost per webinar is $20.00 per session
(includes access to the recording)
Unable to attend the
live webinar events?
Access the recordings
Book your event today for staff training, family nights, professional referral source events, or refresher workshops
Click on the links below to register and/or learn more about each program
Support families on their journey
Share Awareness and Knowledge with others
Help others build Skill
Help staff fill each residents
day with meaning
(leisure, productive/work, restoration & self-care)
PAC Training increases awareness, knowledge, and confidence among care staff and educates resident families.
Becoming Dementia Aware
Would you like to learn how to begin changing your approach and interactions to better serve those living with dementia?
Learn from the comfort of your own home! Sign up today to experience Becoming Dementia Aware. In this three hour online course, Teepa takes you through the areas of the brain affected by dementia and introduces skills and strategies for better ways to care.
The course is broken down into nine sections and includes the following topics: Diving Deeper into Dementia, Better Ways to Care, Seeing and Responding to the Changes, Greet Before You Treat, Positive Physical Approach (PPA), Skills In Depth, After PPA, Caring for All, and Content Review
Whether you're a professional or family care partner, this content will help you begin to change your approach with people living with dementia.
Enrollment Fee: $100
After completing the course, you have the option of signing up for remote/virtual coaching with a PAC Mentor to help reinforce the newly learned content and practice Positive Physical Approach™ and Hand-under-Hand®.
Mentoring Fee: $65/hour
Be Brave Enough To Start A Conversation That Matters
To Learn More About
Caring Conversations Tool Kit
iSupport for Dementia from the
The World Health Organization has created a new online training program for Caregivers in an effort to help families learn more about dementia and provide better care for their loved ones.
WHO developed iSupport to help caregivers:
- understand the impact of dementia;
- deal with challenging behaviours;
- provide good care;
- and take care of themselves.
If you would like to
take a look and help WHO with field testing of iSupport please click here.