Online Dementia Journal 
Amygdalae and Brain Change
New Knowledge Changes Details but Not the Main Message!
by Teepa Snow MS, OTR/L , FAOTA 
Recently, with some help from a friend, I reviewed some recent studies on amygdalae function. The studies indicated that the distinction of sides and the details about which side drives which emotional reactions have changed. My earlier discoveries and share-outs will be replaced with some new data and information.
So, change happens, and we adapt. Here is what is still true. Our primitive brains still contain two amygdalae. These structures are hardwired into our system to help us survive! They keep us alive, keep us out of danger, help us find what we need to survive, and drive us toward moments of pleasure, satisfaction, and joy.
Lauren with a Side of Lewy 
Failure to Frolic
by Lauren U, PAC Core Team   

On July 20, I had a fairly serious accident. During Equine Therapy, I fell off a spirited horse. I have a brain concussion, bilateral sacrum fractures, various gashes, bruises, muscle injuries, and contusions. I remember hearing a loud shattering noise. I thought it was my glasses, turns out it was my bones. It's all a bit of a blur. I remember the general confusion with the paramedics as they tried to assess my cognition post injury vs. prior injury with a dementia diagnosis. I remember recognizing the humor in that moment. I was taken to the Emergency Department via ambulance. I do not remember the ambulance ride, nor the CT scans, x-rays, or general assessments in the ED. I do remember telling everyone I was fine and just wanted to go home.

Are you ready to go back to school?

No need for crayons, markers or a backpack... all you need is PAC!

It's back to school time, and what could be a better way to get yourself up to speed than by attending a Positive Approach® to Care Certification event this fall?  Plan to attend a PAC Trainer Certification event before 2018 ends.
Do you  want to train or provide workshops to others about dementia?

A personal trainer at a gym provides education and instruction about exercise,  and then inspires their trainees to actually put it into action.  Similarly, PAC Trainers engagingly educate their trainees about dementia, take this awareness to the next level with skill instruction, and then inspire them to put the new techniques into practice.

The Trainer Certification is designed for individuals who wish to learn how to train others in Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care (PAC) philosophy. Trainers provide dementia-care awareness, knowledge, and skill development in a classroom, community, or support group setting.
Trainer Certification Events
Remaining in 2018

A change in dementia-care culture  can begin with YOU!
On The Go With A Purpose
September Meditation
by Reverend Linn Possell, 
PAC Mentor   
Emerald in the GEMS® ability model is "on the go with a purpose." What makes people get up and go somewhere? One reason for getting up and going is to leave the place where you don't want to be and get to a better place. Often times we use mediation and prayer to help us move to a better place in our life, whether figuratively or literally. In times of stress and difficulty, sometimes it is hard to find ways to slow down and quiet our mind in order to meditate and pray. One way that helps us move into a space where we are able to quiet our mind is to find our spiritual on-ramp. 

Interview With Teresa Youngstrom
A PAC Certified Independent Trainer
by Diane Slovin,
PAC US Public Certifications Program Director

"It was so much more than I expected." Those are the words Teresa Youngstrom, of Cincinnati, Ohio uses to describe the PAC Trainer Certification event she attended in Cary, NC. Teresa saw a "huge need in the community for people who were trained to care for folks with memory challenges." Teresa had previously attended several PAC speaking events in Cincinnati and had watched numerous videos of Teepa online. Now she decided it was time to take her skills "to the next level." "I was hungry for more information and Teepa's information seemed to feed me the most."  

What is "Onsite Training?"
by Deborah Tyler,
PAC Client Relationship Director
Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) has become a go-to resource for all issues related to dementia care. It is part of our mission as an organization to build skill and competence, not just for individuals, but also for communities, where all staff understand the impact they can have on  every interaction. Organizations and facilities can learn to value the importance of consistent approaches and positive relationships with care delivery staff, housekeeping, dietary employees, administration, and maintenance, and this will set that organization apart from the competition! Employees will be more satisfied with the difference they make, family members will be happier with the care provided, and residents will be given the respect and dignity they deserve!

Communicating through Distress
September 26th: 11am-1pm EDT

Building Your Communication Skills - Getting Connected to Go With the Flow

This session is designed to build responsive skills when confronted with someone who is distressed and is not necessarily aware of the real situation, time frame, or location. Once we explore responses to some of the most common issues (wanting to see or talk to people who have died, wanting to go home or get out of here, needing to get to work or take care of someone or something, seeking justice for a situation or against a perceived wrong), we will attempt to address real life issues that are provided by attendees.
Click Here For Details

Making Home Safer and
More Forgiving
October 8th: 2:30-4pm EDT
  • Setting up spaces
  • Creating handholds and safe walking zones
  • Using passive and active monitoring systems
  • Using materials that are less problematic
  • Balancing familiar with functional with appealing
This session is designed to help individuals, families, and home providers with strategies, techniques, and tools that optimize safety while respecting and promoting a sense of personal control and independence. It will also address signals and symptoms of greater risk and the need for additional support or alternate housing.
Or Volunteering with a Toddler
by Dan Bulgarelli, PAC CFO
"What a beautiful face, how old is he?"
"Will he enjoy playing with the ball?"
"Can he come over here?"
I couldn't tell you how many times I have been asked these questions as my wife and I volunteer at the two Brown Centers in the Metro-Detroit area. These questions may make it seem like we are bringing our yellow lab with us, but really, it's our two-year-old son, Benji. When he walks into the room, every eye turns to him. The faces of our friends light up, and Benji loves going to them and showing them his toys, asking for help with getting something from a shelf, or asking them to come with him to look at the birds and fish. In his eyes, these aren't people that are losing skill or struggling with brain changes, they are merely friends to play with. 

Emerald GEMS ®  
Legal or Diagnostic Tool?
by Louis Levenson, Attorney

As a lawyer and longtime contributor to the  Online Dementia Journal , and as a supporter of Teepa and her work with Positive Approach ® , it is always important to contribute legal guidelines making sure that the readers understand the differences between the diagnostic tools set forth by Teepa using the GEMS State classification and legal criteria. 
For example, this month we are asked to focus on Emerald as a GEMS state. According to the full diagnostic tools set forth by the Positive Approach team, the Emerald state is one in which the person is naturally flawed, just like an emerald. Though there are moments of clarity, there are also periods of loss in logic, reason, and perspective. Language is vague and often repetitive. Awareness of time, place, and situation will not always match reality.

Positive Approach in Wales
Making Connections, Building Relationships, and Looking Towards the Future - An interview with Two PAC Certified Independent Trainers in Wales
Courtney Chorba, MPH and PAC International Events Coordinator, Education Specialist

At the beginning of July, Teepa and a handful of the PAC team ventured across the Atlantic to conduct two Certification Courses, four workshops, a Teepa Talk, and even some filming. The tour kicked off in England, with stops in London and Derbyshire, before moving onward to Wales for the second week of the visit. Swansea, Baglan, and Bridgend were on the schedule for several Skills Days and one Teepa Talk, wherein nearly 400 people attended over the span of four days. This was all made possible thanks to a very driven, passionate team of Welsh Trainers, who are dedicated to bringing awareness, knowledge, and skills to their local care teams and communities with the goal of changing and improving the culture of dementia care.

"Are You A Guitar Player?"
"No, I'm A Cow Milker."
How knowing just a little can help a lot in a music session
by Mary Sue Wilkinson,
Founder, Singing Heart to Heart
As I played the first song for the folks in the adult day program, I noticed a man in the front row whose hands were moving in time to the music. He looked like he was strumming an air guitar.
After the song I asked, "Are you a guitar player?"
He answered with a chuckle, "No, I'm a cow milker."
I asked if he used milking machines or if he did it by hand. He told me they used machines.
Have you ever milked a goat or a cow?
I have.

Until There's a Cure...
by Debbie Selsavage, CDP,
PAC Certified Independent Trainer and Consultant

My primary training is in The Positive Approach® to Care, developed by Teepa Snow.  Teepa's slogan is, "Until there's a cure, there's care." This trips nicely off the tongue and seems too obvious to be profound, but there is so much more meaning in this statement than we might see at first glance.
I had this brought home to me recently when I had the opportunity to attend a two-day conference in Orlando organized by the Alzheimer's Association, the Florida Department of Health, and others.  This event brought together some of the top people in the field, including cutting-edge scientists who are conducting research for a cure.
I was overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge imparted, but came away feeling quite unsettled, for two reasons.  First, we heard nothing very optimistic about the state of research for a cure.  The more research we conduct, the more questions, not answers, we seem to uncover.  

Momentia in My Neighborhood
Creativity + Community
by Kathleen Landel, MA,
PAC Trainer and Mentor
When I first walked into the lobby of the Edmonds Center for the Arts, the gathering patrons looked like any group of theatergoers. There were couples and family groups filing into their seats, with the occasional walker and wheelchair. We were all here to attend the  Golden Era Sing-Along , part of the theater's Dementia-Inclusive Film Series.
The lights dimmed, but were kept high enough so the audience could see and move around when needed. The Northwest Film Forum's Liz Shepherd took us through an uplifting guided tour of film clips from beloved musicals, the lyrics big on the screen, and everyone singing along. What made this theater experience different is that people were free to talk or get up during the film. 

September 2018 
In This Issue
Webinars Now Available 

Emeralds are changing and it is noticeable. This session will highlight common risky situations and how to minimize mistakes and optimize opportunities for everyone getting some of what they want and need to feel OK.

 Creating Pleasure with Emeralds

Finding ways to use the past abilities and interests can become more challenging as skill and focus shifts. This session will help work on simplifying without babifying. Using real pieces of life in shorter bits will be a critical piece for success.

We are on the front edge of recognizing a growing and special population of people who are living with dementia. For the first time, people living with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities since childhood are living full life spans. As this happens, the number of cases of dementia is on the rise. This session will guide us in recognizing first symptoms, highlight supports and options that will be helpful, and approaches that make a difference.
Click here to view
the library of 
on-demand webinars

Upcoming Events
September 24, 2018
Educational Day
Wallingford, CT
September 25, 2018
Educational Day
Richmond, VA
September 27, 2018
  PAC Consultant Certification
Richmond, VA

October 4, 2018  
  Educational Day
Saratoga Springs, NY
October 17, 2018
Educational Day
Rockford, MI

October 17, 2018
Ask Teepa Anything
Live on YouTube

October 19th, 2018
Bloomington, IN
October 25, 2018
PAC Coach Certification
Penetanguishene, ON

November 1, 2018  
  PAC Trainer Certification
Phoenix, AZ
November 6, 2018
Educational Day
Ann Arbor, MI
November, 7, 2018
Educational Day
Avon, OH
November 13, 2018
Educational Day
  Midland, MI
November 14, 2018
Grand Ledge, MI
November 15, 2018
Ann Arbor, MI
November 16, 2018
PAC Champion Course
Southfield, MI
November 18, 2018
  Educational Day
East Hills, NY
November 20, 2018
Stratford, ON
November 27, 2018
Waterville, OH

November 29, 2018
Naples, FL
November 30, 2018
Lexington, KY


Do you have a
story to share?

Let us know how PAC
has helped you!

This is an open invitation to all people living with dementia, care partners, and professionals. Your stories help us learn and grow. We cannot do what we do without you!

  Contact us today if you would like to submit an article or video for the
Online Dementia Journal. 

Recognition Announcement from Teepa 

Kate Swaffer, who leads Dementia Alliance International and lives with young onset dementia, has been recognized by the Australian Financial Review as one of the top 100 influential women in Australia for her advocacy and leadership work to change dementia care culture. GO KATE!!!

2019 Offerings

The big reveal is here! Please take a look at our 2019 Calendars and notable changes (linked below) for Positive Approach® to Care's (PAC's) Events. While this list does not include all of Teepa's Speaking Engagements, PAC Speaking Engagements, Webinars, or our Private Skills Days, we will have those up on the website calendar as we finalize those dates.

Here at PAC we work tirelessly to change the culture of dementia care, one mind at a time. Though we are mindful of the effect pricing shifts have on each mind, or person, after several years of fixed rates, we must adjust with the times to continue to offer the highest quality trainings, materials, and information. While we understand that for some, our prices can be a big investment, we are willing to work with you in order to make it possible for you to join us on this journey. Check out what is new, but also feel free to reach out now to book one of the remaining 2018 event at the lower price! All prices show in USD unless otherwise stated. Contact us via email or by phone at 877-877-1671 for additional details.

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
Caring Conversations
and the
Caring Conversations
Tool Kit

Upcoming Events:

Bloomington, IN
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.
PAC Training increases awareness, knowledge, and confidence among care staff and educates resident families.

Click Here to access the Online Dementia Journal archives!

Stay Connected!

Visit our website for resources and program offerings.