Sexuality and Intimacy
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
Apparently, this is a fairly HOT TOPIC in the world of dementia!
In October, I provided webinars and several workshop sessions on the topic of sexuality and intimacy issues as they relate to dementia. People are interested, and yet there continues to be a huge gap between what we understand about dementia and changes that accompany that condition and our personal reactions and opinions, our educational efforts, our person-centered care plans, and our social, regulatory, and legal support systems.
In this piece, I want to spend a little more time trying to explore the double messages and inequalities that are inherent in our current way of providing support and care for people who are living with dementia and their intimates.
Follow Your Nose for Rest
by Deb LeBlanc, PAC Certified Independent Trainer & Consultant
Consider the following: fresh ground coffee, a baby's head, bacon, fresh baked cookies, old leather.
Did you experience any thoughts or feelings about this list? Did anything make you smile? Did anything make you frown? Our sense of smell is often forgotten, but it is one of the most important ways that we interact with the environment. It is a primitive sense attached to a deeper part of the brain and is tied very closely to memory, emotions, and behavior. Smells are processed directly in the limbic system providing instant motivation for behavior. Smells elicit certain responses without involving the cerebral cortex.
How to Enjoy Holiday Traditions with a Loved One Living with Dementia
by Rosanne Burke, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
Do the holidays hold special memories for you and your family? Do you look forward to certain traditions each year? When you think of the holidays, do many different sights, smells, and sounds come to mind?
Now that you have a loved one living with dementia, are you afraid that everything will be different? That you will no longer be able to enjoy baking cookies, shopping for gifts, and decorating your home together?
Dementia does change things, but there is no reason why you cannot continue to enjoy the many different aspects of the season that bring you happiness. The little things are what make the holidays special, and with a little creativity and support, you can help your loved one to continue to participate and be engaged in meaningful activities of the season.
Meet Mary Sue!
Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and the author of "Songs You Know by Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care" (with contributions by Teepa Snow)
Mary Sue Wilkinson is a musician, author and regular contributor to the Online Dementia Journal. This month we sat down with Mary Sue to learn more about her background and how she became involved in dementia care.
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Keeping the Connection
by Dorothy Colby, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
Staying connected when we are separated from those we love is a challenge. For people living with dementia whose families have geographic or other barriers to visiting, it is especially hard. Hearing the sound of a loved one's voice over the phone is a delight. However, there does come a point where traditional phone calls become a challenge. A person in the later stages may have trouble staying focused on the call, putting down the receiver mid-sentence and walking off. There are so many other things going on in the environment around them, it is hard to stay focused on a disembodied voice.
The Gift of Love: Volunteers
by Mary Anne Oglesby, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
Executive Director, The Veranda - Gallatin, TN
Mr. Webster states this as a definition for volunteer: "a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task." I love the part that says "freely offers." For the past six years my entire staff has consisted of volunteers who freely offer up their time for my program. Without their dedicated service, our program would not exist.
As I reviewed the list of available topics to write about this month, I knew this one on volunteers was for me. Many years ago I was taught that if I wanted to be a success, I had to surround myself with successful people. In my work with those living with dementia, I realized that successful volunteers for our program had to possess certain qualities: they needed to have a teachable spirit as well as a heart for those with whom they daily come in contact, and, above all, they had to understand how to love those they serve each day.
PAC Changes in 2018!
It's hard to believe, but Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) just turned TEN!
In ten years, the Positive Approach to Care (PAC) team has grown exponentially and has touched thousands of lives affected by dementia. Leading this PACk, Teepa Snow has worked for 40 years with intensity and purpose to develop, and then spread awareness of the potential that her strategies and techniques have to change the culture of care and the delivery of services for people living with dementia.
Through hours of one-on-one work and personal development with Teepa, PAC now has a team of Accomplished and Master Mentors, Trainers, Coaches, Speakers, Engagement Leaders, Preceptors, and Consultants stepping up and stepping out to help spread her message even further.
The Positive Approach to Care Team and Teepa are offering some really new and different things in 2018.
What Matters is Love
by Reverend Linn Possell, PAC Lead Mentor Coach
Seasons of Love
is a song from the musical Rent. It asks the question, how do you measure the life of a woman or man? Do you measure it in truths that we learned or times that we cried, in bridges we burn or ways that we die? The song goes on to say our story never ends, and suggests we celebrate and remember our life in love, measure our life in love.
This song is a good reminder that what is important in life are our relationships, and the ways that we love. How do we hold on to this truth when we are affected by dementia?
Always a Gentleman and Gentle Man
The Reminiscent Power of Puzzles
by Melinda Dalgarn, Pieces of the Past
Dad was 76 years old in 2001 when he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease, a form of dementia. Mom, Dad, and our brother Chris lived in the Pacific Northwest. My twin sister Missy and I were 2,000 miles away.
Dad's behavior changed gradually over the next 15 years. Always outgoing and talkative, responses became single syllable words. Rarely did Dad initiate a conversation. He would sleep more and eat less. Having always taken pride in his personal appearance, Dad was less inclined to shower, shave, brush his teeth, or comb his hair.
Creating Collages with Elders Living with Dementia
The Possibilities and Benefits are Endless!
by Sue S. Wilson, LMSW, CADDCT, CDP
In this article you'll learn how to use collage making as a creative means to engage with your loved one living with dementia and enable their voice.
You do not have to be an artist to enjoy the benefits of collage making.
Making a collage involves choosing images, shapes, and bits and pieces, then arranging them, and gluing them onto a surface. Collages can be wildly complicated, beautifully simple, or anywhere in between. It's the opportunities to make choices, express preferences and feelings, and create that empowers an individual and gives them voice.
Faith Community Changing the Face of Dementia Care
by Rosanne Burke, PAC Certified Independent Trainer
First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Texas (FUMCFW) is changing the face of dementia care within their faith community and surrounding area with a progressive and innovative project. Over the next two years, they will be offering a series of educational events that will culminate with a live performance by Teepa Snow, one of America's leading educators on dementia.
Sylvia Ostby, a member of FUMCFW, has lived with Alzheimers disease for more than ten years. Her husband, Bernie, cared for her until he died last year at the age of 92. After he passed, her son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Peg Ostby, learned about Teepa Snow and her Positive Approach® to Care techniques including Hand-under-Hand®. They were so touched and inspired by the difference it immediately had on them, they decided to make a generous bequest from the Ostby family. Their gift will support dementia education for other families who are also on the dementia journey. "I think Bernie would be thrilled that his gift will provide others with the knowledge they'll need to change their journey with dementia for the better," says Peg.
Meet Jessica Pelkey,
PAC Certified Independent Trainer
Adversity can inspire us and show us who we are. A broken and troubled home can instill responsibility on a big brother or sister with tremendous conviction. Navigating poverty, addiction, and family services shapes a person as they develop. Life Coach, Tony Robbins says, "In life you need either inspiration or desperation." Caring and advocating for my three younger sisters was my inspiration from an early age. The same drives and passions continue to fuel me in the work that I do. With my big-sister duties on pause and motherhood setting in, long-term care was a natural fit for me. Convenient, as I'd moved to a little town with one traffic light, but three nursing homes. My last dozen years have been enriched with joys, rewards, and challenges of caring for people living with dementia. To dementia, adversity is no stranger. The dark corners of the room where dementia lives will break your heart. I have learned much and come far, but none-so-far as the last three years.
2018 Certifications Calendar Coming Soon
with exciting dates and locations across the US, Canada, the UK, and more!
In the meantime, there's one more certification event still left in 2017. Join us!
Become a PAC Certified Independent
November 28, 2017
16th Annual Conference
November 30, 2017
December 7, 2017
Transforming the Journey
January 2, 2018
January 3, 2018
January 4, 2018
January 8, 2018
January 22, 2018
Prince Edward Island,
January 29, 2018
San Diego, CA
Click on the green events below to register.
November 29, 2017
Holidays and Celebrations
December 4, 2017
Click here to view previously recorded webinars!
Upcoming Webinars in the
Getting Connected Series
BUILDING SKILL TO SUPPORT GEMS®
Click on the green events
below to register
9-11 am EST (2 hours)
UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT DEMENTIAS
December 18, 2017
10-11:30 am EST
Cost per webinar is
$20.00 per session
(includes access to the recording)
live webinar events?
Access the recordings
Book your event today for staff training, family nights, professional referral source events, or refresher workshops
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
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