Online Dementia Journal 
Teepa Snow - 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 mind at a time.
So What Is Home All About?   
Four Fs and Four Ss  
by Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
Here are some common phrases we use to talk about HOME:
  • Home is where the heart is
  • A home away from home
  • A house is not a home
  • Make yourself at home
  • There's no place like home
  • A man's home is his castle
  • Men make houses, women make homes
  • Keep the home fires burning
In the US, we celebrate Mother's Day and Memorial Day in May. Both holidays are designed to have us stop and appreciate that which made us who we are and those who came before to create this situation and place in which we live. Both, in the best circumstances, provide a combination of wonderful memories and gratitude for all that we have that we hold dear. So what does this have to do with the thing we call home? "Mom, home, and apple pie" is an old phrase that has been used to describe that good place we can go to feel loved, be comforted, and get satisfied. Memorial Day was created to honor those who died in military service, defending our home land for all who live there. Two very different takes on home. In one, we have a safe loving place to be and in the other we seem to know that we owe a tremendous amount to those who lost their lives, not at home, defending our right and privilege to be in ours.  Continue

Resource - Senior Living Options 

Down the Road and Through the Woods 
A Family Care Partner's Journey   
y Linda Arndt    
As the adult child living closest to my parents, I faced my father, who was determined to keep my mother in their home as long as possible; my mother, who now required more dementia related care than my father could provide; and, my siblings, who offered to help as much as they could given that they all had jobs, family and homes far from my parent's home.

Home was an isolated house in the north woods of Wisconsin that my father and mother had built and contentedly lived in for the last twenty-five years. The family agreed that in-home care was the least traumatic care option for our mother. With that agreement, my task of pulling together all the needed puzzle pieces required for in-home care began. And, with in-home care my mother remained living in that house, a house she no longer considered her home. Her home was just down the road, past the woods that stood in her path.  Continue
Alzheimer's: A Beautiful Spirit Celebrated
by Linn Possell
When someone is diagnosed with dementia we think of a lot of things but one thing that is often overlooked is the spiritual aspect of this disease and how it may or may not affect the person's spiritual life. When my mother was diagnosed with early onset Frontal Temporal Dementia, I first thought about her spirit. As clergy and a person of faith, I believe that what is eternal about life is the spirit; and because of this I believed that my mom was okay. Her spirit was whole and beautiful just as it was created to be. I also believed that it was my responsibility to learn how to recognize, celebrate, and stay connected to that spirit. As a result of my belief and efforts, this is what happened. I learned from my mother an invaluable lesson about our spiritual life. I realized while helping my mother stay engaged and connected, that while dementia changed her physical life, it could not affect her spiritually. As I watched my mother progress through dementia; moving from an Emerald all the way to a Pearl, I saw her spirit, which is the essence and beauty of her life remain whole and beautiful.
Society in general does not know how to celebrate the life of someone living with dementia because what we tend to value is health, beauty, youth, and abilities, and these characteristics are not as readily noticeable with dementia. Judgements and labels do not make up the essence of a life. But what we often do is respond to a person based on these judgements and labels and when we do this we diminish that life. However, when we peel away the layers that society places on what life should look like, we are able to see the spirit of a person. The essence of our life is our energy or spirit.
Looking beyond the outer layers of a life will help us see what is inside. Someone living with dementia has enough to deal with without having to be labeled as less than someone without dementia. Therefore what a person living with dementia needs from us is for us to be able to look past what society places value on and celebrate what is true and real.
I wrote   Alzheimer's: A Beautiful Spirit Celebrated in hopes that it would help those who love someone living with dementia be able to recognize and stay connected to the spirit of that person. This book started with what I learned from my mother. It is not a story about her life with dementia but is a book about how the spirit transcends all things. Someone living with dementia can have a full and rich spiritual life when we believe in this possibility, and help them stay connected to this life.
Montessori Methods in May with Marlena 
How do our Certified PAC Team incorporate Positive ApproachTM to Care Skills into other methods and systems?  
by Amanda Bulgarelli  
May is a month of finding moments of joy with your mothers, families, and feeling at home no matter where you are. After the winter months and signs of early spring, May brings a brightness and warmth to the inside and outside of our homes. When we take a moment to look at the beautiful blooms on those May flowers, it is important to notice ALL of the many colors and types of flowers that make a garden beautiful. At Positive ApproachTM to Care, we know that there are many methodologies and ideas out there that have lovely attributes to offer, adding beauty to the garden of dementia care. One of our Certified Trainers has found a way to see the many colors around the globe related to dementia care and skills. Marlena Myers attended our London Trainer Certification course last summer...Continue
Spotlight on PAC Team Member
Charleen Phelps
PAC Mentor    

Hi! I'm Charleen Phelps and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of  the PAC team!
I have been a nurse for many years and have had wonderful opportunities within hospital and community; including; Geriatrics, Mental Health, Corrections, Death Investigation and Legal Nurse Consulting. My most recent experience was as a Director of Residential and Transitional Care at a general hospital.
I am so grateful to discover Teepa Snow and Positive ApproachTM. The kindness and respect that this program embodies needs to be embraced everywhere! This has been especially helpful to me as I cope with my own family member who is a person living with dementia.
I love that we see all people (including ourselves) as doing the best we can.
Along with private consulting and working with PAC, I am a playwright, screenwriter and "all round story teller." I'm married with a son and daughter and I love being out on my bike! My goal is to live in the moment and as happily as our Golden Retriever Jasper.
Memories and Music
A Powerful Combination
by Mary Donnelly & Mary Lee
What do you do when you hear a song playing that you love? Do  you immediately pay attention, tap your foot to the beat, maybe hum or sing along?  When the song has ended, how do you feel? Nostalgic, perhaps, or maybe even downright happy? That's the power of music...musical memories are some of the strongest we possess.
Because rhythm is typically a preserved skill for those affected by dementia, music becomes the gift and is a valuable tool if you know how to use it.  When utilized with activity, music can promote a sense of value, and meaning, or purpose. It can also help relax, calm, or change a mood when used in leisure or quiet times.  Music allows a brain to organize, promoting arousal and movement for those who may have trouble getting started or energized. Music is an effective and often quick way to elicit a sense of peace, joy, remembrance, and positive feelings for everyone.
Teepa recommends using music at least twice a day for both care partners and those living with dementia.  It's an available and powerful resource that can lift spirits, stimulate or calm behavior, and provide meaningful connection even when communication is limited.
The Memories in Song DVD/CD set, available in our store   is an excellent resource to get you started.
  • The DVD - Teepa shares facts and insights about the journey of dementia and how to use music effectively. Music offers tremendous opportunity for deeper connection, cognitive stimulation, physical response, and access to feelings of joy that exist within pathways of emotional memory.
  • The CD - Contains a collection of folk and gospel 'sing-a-long' songs. Old favorites from several decades, with suggestions for ways to engage a person in any stage of dementia.
This set does not require previous musical ability or training, and will help you to become more comfortable including music in your daily routine. It is a must-have for care partners, activity directors and daycare staff.
"When my mom, who has Alzheimer's, lost most of her verbal skills I finally decided to try music. That was when I realized that music is the most profound magical form of communication there is."

~Lesley, a care partner

Remembering and Celebrating Mom
Through the eyes of a PAC Approved Consultant  
by Sue Wilson 
Families come in all sizes and shapes and so do mothers! Let's celebrate our mothers and remember them at their best.  Remembering moms ~ who they are and who they were, is essential to positively connecting with and supporting the changing conditions and abilities of moms living with dementia.

For the next few minutes, let's truly remember our moms and feel their positive presence (whether she is in the next room or the world beyond). This exercise takes just a moment and you may find it useful to do whenever frustrated and at wits end with your own mom or someone else's mom for whom you are care-partnering; a mom who is undergoing the brain changes caused by dementia. Yes, you remember worried looks and raised voices...but let's take time to focus on the positive presence of Mom for a Positive Approachâ„¢ to Care.  Continue

Are you PAC Approved?
Participants, Mentors and Teepa at the PAC Approved Coach Workshop in The Villages, FL
Changing the Landscape of Memory Care
Using Aromatherapy in Care Settings
by Jayne Clairmont

Since 1997, English Rose Suites has broken the mold of traditional assisted living/memory care. The beautifully appointed executive style homes are located in real neighborhoods in the southwestern suburbs of Minneapolis. English Rose Suites' owner, Jayne Clairmont, a pioneer of smaller/clustered living environments designed and created Kensington Cottages in the 1990s, believed that smaller environments would truly help create well-being.

For many years, Clairmont struggled to conform to traditional approaches in memory care and recognized the overuse of psychotropic medications as a means to control behavioral expressions. English Rose Suites' model believed that elders should be allowed to live fully with their dementia. Continue


Essential Oils Study

Lavender and Sleep Downloadable PDF
Getting the Right Support   
Legal Support for Mom  
by Louis Levenson

Our law firm was involved in a case where siblings came to us for help managing the affairs of their mother. Often times it is best to have a non-biased third party involved to help make major decisions such as housing, asset management and assessing other needs for those living with dementia. Their mother, a 72 year old widow, who we can call Claire, was living with dementia and could no longer stay at home by herself.

Because Dementia is a progressive disease, the need for managing daily living is constantly changing.  Our firm was able to provide progressive support during each phase of dementia. For example, our client was an excellent driver and followed all traffic laws. After a while, she would get in the car and start driving to the grocery store for something, forget where she was going and get lost. At first, her children would call her, ask  her to pull over to a safe place, get her to describe her location or have someone at the location give them the address and then come and pick her up. Driving is a rite of passage that most adults do not give up willingly (nor at the behest of a child) so this type of incident happened a few more times before Claire's children eventually sold her car to avoid this very scary situation.

Levenson & Associates assisted in getting the best price for the vehicle and investing funds into an account for Claire's benefit, this helped the siblings avoid the hassle as well as focus on the needs of their mother. 

Later on down the road, we assisted the family in locating an assisted living home where their mother could still live independently and did not need the use of a vehicle. This facility also has a memory care unit for when Claire will require more hands on help from staff - should that be the choice the siblings decide to make.

Our firm handles cases like this on a regular basis. We have a team of expert contractors (financial advisors, tax specialists, caregivers, etc.) that help put an individualized plan in place for each person living with dementia. This outside team not only creates the care plan but also reassess' the plan as needs change enabling the family to ask questions and make educated decisions about the care of their loved ones.
Share your PAC Story Image of opened white note book with a pen, and This Is My Story words written on it

Has Teepa's Positive Approach  made a difference in your life? We want to hear your story! 

An "Amber" Music Moment 
by Mary Sue Wilkinson
When I arrive at the adult day program there are a dozen or so people sitting in a row of armchairs, waiting for me. They are singing "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." As I unpack my guitar, I introduce myself and join in. Several people compliment me on my shirt, which is pink and has shiny beads on it. We begin with "Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here." A few clap, and everyone sings and smiles. We are off to a good start.
A few numbers in, I launch into "Music! Music! Music!" Mary, who is sitting at the end with a walker in front of her, pushes to her feet and comes quickly to me. She grabs the neck of my guitar with one hand and my arm with the other and begins to dance. She moves in time to the music and leads me, stepping side to side. Then Mary begins to pull my arms back and forth, front to back. I have to stop playing the guitar, but I keep singing, and the group sings along too. Everyone claps when the dance is finished. I hug and thank Mary. What a delight to see her move so spontaneously to the music!
Mary Sue Wilkinson is the founder of Singing Heart to Heart and the author of "Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care." The book includes contributions from Teepa Snow as well as Mary Sue's CD of 18 favorite sing along songs. Buy the book HERE .
May 2016 
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Close-up top-view photo of calendar with a datum circled by young woman with red nails with a back marker, concept of time management at work

May 18, 2016
Education Day
West Hartford, CT

May 24, 2016
OALA Spring Conference
Columbus, OH

June 1, 2016
Education Day
Wilsonville, OR

June 14, 2016
  Education Day
Owen Sound, ON

June 15, 2016
  Education Day
Owen Sound, ON

June 16, 2016
  Education Day
Stratford, ON

June 17, 2016
Education Day
Stratford, ON

June 21, 2016
Education Day
Dallas, TX

June 22, 2016
Education Day
Sun City Center, FL

June 29, 2016
Education Day
Fort Wayne, IN

June 30, 2016 - AM
Professional Education Day
Hunstville, AL

June 30, 2016 - PM
Caregiver Educational Day
Huntsville, AL

July 1, 2016
Educational Day
Northglenn, CO

July 8, 2016
Educational Day
Spring Hill, FL

August 11, 2016
A Day With Teepa
Indianapolis, IN

September 23, 2016
Educational Day
St. Louis, MO

November 23, 2016
Educational Day
Lincoln, UK

November 26, 2016
Educational Day
Bridgend, South Wales, UK

Book your event today for staff training, family nights, professional referral source events, or refresher workshops .
Introducing a
NEW DVD from Teepa and the Pines
Education Institute

Communications in
Dementia Care

Upcoming PAC Certification Events

June 9, 2016 
PAC Trainer
Williamsburg, VA

 Sponsored by:


June 23, 2016 
PAC Engagement
(Atlanta) Roswell, GA


July 14, 2016 
PAC Trainer
Girard, KS

September 1, 2016 
PAC Trainer
Asheville, NC

 Sponsored by:


October 13, 2016 
 PAC Coach
Harleysville, PA

 Sponsored by:

PAC Training increases awareness, knowledge, and confidence among care staff and educates resident families.
Positive Approach Partners  
Levenson & Associates 

Mr. Levenson is partnering with us to answer your legal questions. 

View Louis's Bio

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If you know someone working or living with dementia who might benefit from
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