Shared Rest Time and Space... Restful or Restless?
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
For many, sharing sleeping spaces and times can be a comforting and bonding experience. For others, having another person that close when trying to sleep and relax is not helpful and actually robs them of the deep refreshing sleep that is needed. One relationship leads to greater intimacy and closeness, while the other can create friction and frustration, due in part to sleep deprivation.
So what is SLEEP?
Sleep is not a period of absolute rest and stillness. Rather it is a very busy time for the maintenance crew within your body and brain to complete some important tasks and functions in order to keep everything running well and to help you function.
It is currently believed that there are two major forms of sleep states - Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (N-REM) sleep.
Tips for Communicating with Your Family When a Loved One is Diagnosed with Dementia
by Rosanne Burke, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
Caring for a person with dementia can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging. For family members, the stress can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with and families often do not receive the support they need. It is not uncommon for siblings to disagree on the appropriate care for mom or dad. Arguments arise and communication breaks down. Sadly, all too often, dementia can destroy a family.
Take a minute to think about how you would be affected if someone close to you received a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia. How would you feel about the diagnosis? How would your life change? Which relationships would be impacted?
It's hard to imagine how you would feel until you are placed in the situation. You never know how you will react to life changing news like a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease. As a family member, you can be sure, however, that your life and the lives of everyone close to the person, will be affected in many different ways.
Creating Joy and Engagement Through Fandom
by Dan Bulgarelli, PAC Speaker
It seems that no matter where we look these days, there are messages trying to keep us separate from one another. Whether it is politics, socio-economic status, what we drive, what we wear, or a host of other factors, we find differences with one another instead of seeking common ground. Well, that certainly is not always the case, and one way in which we find common ground, is with fandom. We become fans of our teams for different reasons; either it's our hometown team, we have a familial connection, or our favorite player is rocking the uniform. Being a fan transcends all of those lines that would seek to divide us and bring us together. When you get together with fellow fans, or meet someone new who turns out to root for your team, one of the first questions is inevitably "did you see the game?" This question creates a topic both people can relate to, leads into many tangents, and soon a relationship is born. Even fans of rival teams can come together and talk about past games, players, or how the refs/umps are biased against our team and for our rivals... even if both fan bases feel they get the short end of the stick. Being a fan doesn't end when dementia sets in or progresses. As Teepa has said time and time again, when a person is living with dementia "I am who I have always been, I'm just different." I spoke with Peg Chabala, a member of our PAC team and former Director of Activities at an Assisted Living Facility in the Pittsburgh area, about how she would use sports to engage her residents.
Finding Family Memories "Stored" in a Song
by Mary Sue Wilkinson,
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart
Whether you realize it or not, music has been accompanying you from your very first days when your mother sang you a lullaby. Your family may have had funny songs to sing in the car. You may recall the music from your first dance or your wedding song. Think of it this way: Family memories may be stored in songs and music. To help you discover some of those memories I've written "Finding Memories through Music: A Family Interview." Click here to get your free copy.
Use the interview to learn about the music that formed the sound track for your parents' or elders' lives growing up. Keep in mind that for people with memory loss, being asked questions may be very frustrating, and answering may not even be possible. If you sense frustration, don't press on but consider using the interview with their spouse, a sibling, or other family members. Or take your best guess based on your loved one's age and choose some music to listen to together. Rather than trying to find specific songs they like, you might experiment with different genres of music to see what resonates with them. You may be able to ask if they liked the music but if that's not possible watch for smiles, tapping toes or hands moving to let you know if it is pleasing to them.
"MIH" Make It Happen
Part 2 of 4 Articles
by Louis Levenson, JD
Where we were at the end of Part 1 of this series was this: people in need of legal help with ongoing dementia issues should talk to professionals about what to do. They should not procrastinate. Do it now.
When you talk to your lawyer (or should the lawyer be that of your mom or dad or spouse with dementia issues), be sure to present the lawyer with the following information: a family tree so that he/she will know who is who, copies of any Powers of Attorney, Wills, Living Wills, or health care proxies that the adult with the dementia problems may have signed already.
Of course, please read these documents before you speak with the lawyer so that you will understand (not necessarily agree with) what is being planned and can ask questions for clarity and can suggest changes.
Getting In and Out
Mobility ideas to support those who have difficulty sequencing or moving into or out of a vehicle
by Amanda Bulgarelli, PAC Mentor
As we researched this concept more thoroughly, we found another resource entitled 'The Proper Way to Get In and Out of a Car'. While this video denotes a right and wrong way to do this activity, we at PAC like to think of it more as a new way and an old habit to get into and out of a car. Once dementia messes with the sequence of getting into and out of the car, we will use old sensory motor memories of simply sitting down and standing up to support someone with the sequence. This is also a useful tool if there are any mobility or pain issues in the lower half of the body. If you have ever had a hip surgery, you know that this keeps you from breaking the rules on mobility.
L'art des soins lies a la maladie d/Alzheimer: des strategies innovatrices
À l'invitation de la Société Alzheimer de Montréal, Teepa Snow, réputée spécialiste des troubles cognitifs, montre comment les personnes atteintes perçoivent le monde ainsi que comment les proches aidants et les professionnels de la santé peuvent adapter leur approche pour favoriser une meilleure communication et améliorer la qualité de vie de chacun. Interprétée en français, cette formation de cinq heures examine en profondeur les techniques de soins centrés sur la personne.
Fondée en 1981, la Société Alzheimer de Montréal est un organisme à but non lucratif qui vise à alléger les conséquences sociales et personnelles de la maladie d'Alzheimer et des maladies apparentées ainsi qu'à promouvoir la recherche de leurs causes et de leur traitement.
Produced by the Alzheimer Society Montreal, renowned dementia care expert, Teepa Snow, teaches how a person with dementia perceives the world and how care partners can change and adapt their own behavior to improve communication and quality of life for everyone involved. This french dubbed five hour training offers profound insight into person-centered care techniques that professionals and family members can use to "make a difference."
Designing a Supportive
Dementia Care Environment
Are you caring for a person living with dementia in their home? Did you know that you can set up the environment to support both of you? A well designed and supportive setting can help the person in your care maintain abilities and an optimal activity level for as long as possible. These options, if used correctly, can positively impact the quality of life for you and the person in your care.
Do you want to build a team that creates meaning and purpose for people living with dementia?
Develop YOUR skills and YOUR team to help make every day meaningful in the lives of those living with dementia.
December 11-12, 2017
- how to apply the four categories of activity that help human beings feel valued, productive, and purposeful;
- engaging programming for men;
- how to engage different personality traits, levels of functioning, and sensory needs
PAC Certified Independent Engagement Leaders
are trained to provide opportunities in Activities, Adult Day Service Programs, and Dementia Care and Residential Settings
July 4, 2017
July 4, 2017
July 21, 2017
Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 20th Annual Elder Law Conference
July 26, 2017
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
Book your event today for staff training, family nights, professional referral source events, or refresher workshops
Getting Connected Series
Understanding Different Dementias
Building Skills to Support GEMS
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live webinar events?
Access the recordings
PAC Training increases awareness, knowledge, and confidence among care staff and educates resident families.
Be Brave Enough To Start A Conversation That Matters
To Learn More
Caring Conversations Tool Kit
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