Imagine Living in a Pearl State
by Teepa Snow MS, OTR/L
For just a few minutes, try to imagine being in a Pearl state. Perhaps the best way to begin is to consider when you are actually very much in somewhat of a Pearl state each day, or rather night. We pretty much experience many elements of being in a Pearl state when we are in REM sleep. It is when we are immobilized physiologically, and yet we experience a multitude of sensory and movement experiences without really moving. We see things that we are not really looking at and smell or taste things that do not in the moment exist in real place and time.
Now imagine that someone uses
intense sensory stimulation to bring you out of it!
by Reverend Linn Possell,
PAC Lead Mentor Coach
Even though we cannot always see a pearl, we know that they are beautiful and precious. As I sat with my grandmother as a pearl, she taught me many things. She taught me about life and as I sat with her I wrote this poem.
What is life?
What is life? But to dance to the song of the wind.
What is life? But to take the hand of a child.
What is life? But to be still and hear the whisper of rain.
What is life? But to sit with a friend in need.
What is life? But to sing with the birds in the tree.
What is life? But life eternal.
Look. And I will be dancing
as the wind blows through the trees.
Take the hand of a child.
And I will hold your hand in mine.
Be still. And I will whisper your name.
Sit with a friend. And I will sit there too.
Sing with the birds. And I will sing to you.
Pearls and Chocolate Brownies
by Loy Campbell, MS, OTR/L
Think about your favorite food in the world. If calories were no object, what would you eat every day? For me, it's a double chocolate brownie (with chocolate fudge melted on top). Now imagine, if you can, that you are living as a Pearl (or what the non
Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) world would call "end stage dementia"). You require assistance to complete all daily activities, including eating. Fortunately, you have a care partner who has PAC skills and is assisting you using Hand-under-Hand® (HuH®) to eat your favorite food. New advance directives in New York were developed allowing a person without dementia to determine for their future self, if they were to develop dementia, what their choices would be. These advance directives determine what to do in the event they are unable to feed themselves, and form words explaining their choices regarding whether or not to feed them.
June 14-21 is National Nursing Assistants Week!
Being a nursing assistant
perseverance, and passion. We
nursing assistants with a special offer on an essential resource to assist everyday care:
This set of eight laminated cards with a holder is the ideal way to remember and utilize essential Positive Approach® to Care techniques. Nursing assistants constantly give others a helping hand, and
deserve a hand, too!
Valid through 7/15/18
U.S. and Canada only
Using Visual and Audio for Dementia Communication
by Laurie Scherrer, Blogger
For many of us living with dementia, conversations can be difficult. Reduced auditory processing functions and competing noises often cause a breakdown in information processing. As we regularly struggle with a delayed processing time, we rely on visual skills to assist in understanding. Eye contact and being able to see the speaker's lips moving are important tools for communicating. During telephone conversations words
and meanings easily
become misinterpreted or totally lost.
When our visual connection is absent we may "fill-in the gaps" with what we assumed was said or we may forget all, or part of the conversation. In our world of technology there are many resources available to replace an audio only telephone and improve communication.
Lauren with a Side of Lewy
Perspectives of Living with Lewy Body Dementia
by Lauren U, PAC Core Team
I recently had a dentist appointment. The office has only known me with LBD (Lewy Body Dementia). They are a nice group of people who have adapted to and accommodated me.
I casually mentioned something about a "job," referring to my creative idea for a new dental-friendly product. They heard "job" and looked at me, puzzled. Their look of surprise took me by surprise. They were appropriately and genuinely interested. "You're working now? What kind of job?"
Occupational Therapy (OT) Excitement in Salt Lake City
PAC Client Relationship Director
In mid-April, Mary and Debi from Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) traveled to Salt Lake City for the annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference.
Our goal was to connect with the 6,000 plus attendees with interest in dementia care and share some of the resources Positive Approach® has to offer. Once our booth was all set up and looking snazzy, we wandered around to some of the other exhibitors to see what products and resources might be of interest. What an array of interesting things!
Where Do Families Go From the Discussions of the Problems with Dementia to Solutions
by Louis Levenson, Attorney
Step One: Why are you calling a lawyer?
Something that perplexes and often frustrates lawyers and judges when contacted to deal with the legal ramifications of aggressive (fast) or progressive (slow) dementia in a family member is this: the need for the family to articulate a goal, more specifically, a legal goal. Lawyers are not medical practitioners and cannot prescribe anything but legal "Band-Aids." Perhaps the goal would be to get the lawyer to help with goal formation and management of expectations.
"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are."
Certified Independent Coaches take PAC's dementia care knowledge and skills to the next level by helping to change what is happening out there in the field.
You can help care partners up their game by improving their skills in Positive Physical Approach™, Hand-under-Hand®, and GEMS® Identification.
Upcoming Coach Dates:
July 26-27 in Denver, CO
August 16-17 in Chelsea, MI
For more information, please visit
For questions, please contact the
PAC Certification Coordinator,
or by phone at 678 772 0958.
The Other PPA
by Clarke Pollard, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Support Network and PAC Mentor
For those involved with Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) the acronym for Positive Physical Approach™ is PPA™. However, to many neurologists and speech-language pathologists PPA means something entirely different, namely: Primary Progressive Aphasia.
Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) in Brief:
- First described by Dr. Arnold Pick and Dr. Paul Serieux in 1892-93
- Framed as primary progressive aphasia in the 1980s by Dr. Marsel Mesulam
- Uncommon syndrome primarily affecting language
Recognizing signs of someone living in a Pearl state should signal a shift in our support and care, but this final transition can be very difficult to manage. The first half of this session will focus on awareness, knowledge, and skills that can help us know that we are truly learning the art of letting go, not giving up, as the person begins to leave this life. The second half will help us seek to find pleasure in the experience of being with the person as the long journey is ending and a life is completed.
There are at least five different approaches to care support for all of us. When someone is living with dementia, advocacy starts by helping to figure which system of care is best for a person. Part of it is based on who they were and what they wanted for themselves, but other pieces involve what the person is indicating they want at this time, who can provide the support that is desired, what the environment will support, what the possible and probable outcome would be, and the amount of risk the person and support system is willing to take. It's time to talk about it all. This session is designed to do so.
June 21, 2018
June 25, 2018
July 2, 2018
July 2, 2018
July 11, 2018
July 16, 2018
July 19, 2018
July 20, 2018
July 24, 2018
Highlands Ranch, CO
July 25, 2018
Storm Lake, IA
July 25, 2018
Live on YouTube
July 26, 2018
July 30, 2018
August 1, 2018
August 2, 2018
PAC Trainer Certification
August 6, 2018
August 8, 2018
August, 13, 2018
Teepa's Knowledge Intensive: Workshop 3
San Diego, CA
August 14, 2018
San Diego, CA
August 16, 2018
PAC Coach Certification
August 27, 2018
August 28, 2018
August, 30, 2018
PAC Trainer Certification
Now Accepting Submissions
Do you have a story to share?
Your stories help us learn and
grow. We cannot do what we do without you!
This is an open invitation to all people living with dementia, care partners, and professionals.
today if you would like to submit an article or video for the
Online Dementia Journal.
Book your event today for staff training, family nights, professional referral source events, or refresher workshops
Would you like your staff to be able to learn from Teepa Snow, 24/7?
is now offering Teepa Snow programs on its Group Training Website!
Each of your staff members can get their own online video account, with videos selected by you!
Be their "Online Group Leader" and monitor their activity, course completion, and quiz results* (where applicable).
Click below to learn more!
Be Brave Enough To Start A Conversation That Matters
To Learn More
SAVE THE DATE!
PAC Training increases awareness, knowledge, and confidence among care staff and educates resident families.
Today's Voice for Dementia
Teepa is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with dementia related challenges and change. Her company, Positive Approach, LLC was founded in 2005 and offers education to family and professional care partners all over the world. Her goal? Making a difference...one mind at a time.
to access the
Online Dementia Journal