Pivot: Sometimes Although Families Caregivers And Senior Living Communities All Have The Best Intentions Poor Communication Can Lead To Unsatisfactory Care For The Individual With Dementia How Should Communities Work With Families To Create The Best Treatment Plan
TS: Promising more than you can deliver is a bad idea. Doing the blame game with each other is a really bad pattern because we need to be partners. Another pitfall is leaving the person living with dementia out of the equation they need to have a voice. Sometimes I still hear people saying, Ill just drop her off here and tell her were going for lunch, because they cant deal with it they dont know how to tell her they cant go back home. Whats also important is this whole idea of, lets get inclusive and not build these walls and barriers. Because I think sometimes senior living communities can become these isolated enclaves, but people with dementia still want to go out and see other people. Things can also go wrong when a concerned family member gets invested in one perspective or point of view. We need to figure out how to work together because it just wears everyone out if we dont.
Vision And The Gems State Model
Visual acuity is impacted by Alzheimers disease and dementia. GEMS® states are associated with changing vision to help caregivers understand how the person with dementia perceives and experiences the world visually.
For example, a person in the ruby state may have difficulty processing multiple images at once or lack the ability to judge distance without the use of ones hands. In this state, caregivers may find it helpful to serve food on brightly colored plates that are easier to see.
Retained Abilities In Gems
Due to the nature of brain disease, the abilities and acuity in people with dementia constantly change, not only from day to day, but time of day. The GEMS® States model takes this fact into consideration and offers caregivers a framework for identifying retained abilities in combination with body, interpersonal and awareness skills.
For example, a person in the emerald state can mistake one time and situation for another while a person in the diamond state is more likely to get lost in unfamiliar places.
You May Like: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s Disease
Figure Out What You Can Control
Stop trying to control what you cant control. This is so important to realize. You cant control their dementia or their past . And, you cant control/fix/change their behavior.
You do have some control, however, over their environmenttheir physical and sensory experiences. This includes where they are, the objects they use or have access to, and how you guide or help to direct their time. Consider how you can make a difference for both of you.
Pay attention to what helps them feel valued and important, as well as when they relax and regain their energy. Try to prioritize the most important things and what must get done. Know your agenda, but dont show your agenda. Practice recognizing if/when something doesnt go as you hoped and managing your response.
You can figure out how to get yourself under control, and you can build your skills and knowledge about how to better live with dementia. Change what you can change and then let go of the rest.
The Gems: Brain Change Model
NursePartners recognizes Teepas positive approach to care as an effective method to provide care for loved ones affected by dementia. This approach categorizes dementia stages with six different gemstones, each defined by unique characteristics. Understanding each stage of the process allows carepartners to gain a deeper insight into what your loved one is experiencing.
After an in-home assessment, we work to create a plan of care to help your loved one live comfortably and safely. By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors, health complications, to daily activities, we can begin to understand what factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness.
In-home care offers independence, and NursePartners delivers with flexible, customized solutions. Ready to learn more? Our care team would love to offer a complimentary in-home care consultation. Contact us today.
As family members and caretakers, we play a large role in overseeing the medical needs of our loved ones. Your relationship with medical professionals is based on trust, communication and understanding. The stronger the patient-physician relationship, the more value it provides. Its been shown that individuals who establish relationships with their doctors tend to have better health outcomes. Building a plan of care that includes their doctor enables you to help meet the medical needs of your loved one throughout their later years.
- Prepare for your appointment.
Don’t Miss: Bob Knight Dementia
What Is Dementia Teepa Snow
In respect to this, what is dementia by teepa snow?
It is estimated that with most dementias the brain shrinks one third of it’s original size causing many changes in structural and chemical ability. Dementia is not a memory problem, it means brain failure and causes many changes in structural and chemical function.
Likewise, how would you describe dementia? Dementia is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Memory loss is an example.
Additionally, how old is teepa snow?
Two by two, eight caregivers and the loved ones with dementia they care for are greeted by a 63-year-old bundle of energy named Teepa Snow.
What does teepa mean?
Pivot: Language Is A Key Element Of Your Pac Philosophy Including The Use Of Terms Like People Living With Dementia Neurodegenerative Care And Brain Change Why Is It Important To Focus On Changing The Culture Through Language
TS: If, for example, I said, I have a friend, shes demented, and her daughter has to do a whole lot for her and its just really sad. Versus, I have a friend who has just been recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. Really, she is doing quite well. One of the things shes discovered is shes not really good with time right now, so I serve as a calendar reminder for her and its making a big difference. So, its just different than it used to be. Its different to say about a person, shes demented, than she is living with dementia. People arent victims. We cant go around with this idea. If I were living with dementia, I certainly would not want people referring to me as a victim. And if you ask people who are living with dementia, thats what they will tell you.
You May Like: How Fast Does Alzheimer’s Progress
What Is The Teepa Snow Positive Approach For Dementia
Understanding Teepa Snows Positive Approach to Dementia Care
Teepa Snow is a trained occupational therapist and a pioneer in caring for people living with dementia. Her Positive Approach® to Care centers around recognizing a persons abilities and strategically shifting care tactics to meet them where they are acknowledging that as the dementia progresses, the caregiver and the care strategy must evolve with it.
We proudly follow this revolutionary methodology at each Ridge community to encourage positive outcomes for people living with dementia, and to build relationships rooted in authenticity, empowerment, compassion and curiosity.
First, What is Dementia?
A cornerstone of Teepa Snows positive approach to dementia care is the recognition that this condition is made up of a series of changes in the brain, bringing with it dramatic structural and chemical failures. Dementia is not a memory problem its brain failure.
The Many Phases and Facets of Dementia
With her GEM model of brain change, Teepa Snow ties each stage of dementia to a precious gem. Thisis to encourage caregivers to focus on the unique and valuable abilities retained by the person with dementia, rather than focusing on what theyve lost.
Pearl: Hidden beneath the outer shell of the condition like a pearl in an oyster shell, pearls retain their innate personhood, even though changes in the body are extreme. They can recognize familiar touches, faces, tastes, aromas and voices.
Find Out More
What’s Under The Umbrella
Dementia is NOT a diagnosis, it is a condition that covers over 120 different types, forms, and causes of brain change under the umbrella. Symptoms are the greatest guide to the type of dementia that we are looking at since true diagnosis isnt 100% accurate until after death. We are constantly learning more about the different dementias, and as we learn more, we try to adapt with more skill. Though each person AND each dementia may progress differently, Teepas GEMS ability-based progression model shows us some of the changes in the brain and in skills that we can expect throughout this journey.
Don’t Miss: Can I Buy Jelly Drops For Dementia
Pivot: How Did You Develop Your Person
TS: Early on, what I discovered when I came to work with people living with dementia, is that where I positioned myself with them seemed to make a big difference in how they reacted to me. Over time, I did research in a variety of settings I worked with head injuries as part of the behavior team, and we used to have to quote unquote deal with problem or aggressive behaviors. What I discovered during that time was sometimes were surprising people and getting in their faces in ways they find incredibly frightening and uncomfortable. In some cases, their distress could actually be due to previous life trauma, or it may be that what were doing is causing them pain and discomfort, even though we dont intend to.
So, it was a matter of realizing that what we do can either make the situation better or worse, so I wanted to be alert and aware, to change what I do and how and where I do it. This means that when Im showing somebody where Im trying to move them, I engage with them and let them know, so that you get this partnered phenomenon, rather than, Im going to do something for you or to you. As soon as I started taking that approach, there was a big difference in my success rate, whether I was working with people who were coming out of a coma, people living with strokes or people who had dementia, and with their family members as well.
Teepa Snow Discusses Managing Dementia Care During Covid
In a recent conversation with Being Patient, dementia-care education specialist Teepa Snow shares advice for families and caregivers in the time of COVID-19.
Over the course of the 30-minute interview, Snow discusses ways families can handle safety concerns surrounding a loved one who is living in a continuing care facility, and ways to bridge communication challenges during this time of increased isolation.
She also speaks to the risk COVID-19 poses for people with dementia, what caregivers can do to mitigate that risk, and what to do if a person diagnosed begins to show symptoms of the virus.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility
Normal Aging Vs Not Normal Aging
Not Normal does not mean its Dementia
- Noticing changes in ability?
- Wondering if this is normal, stress-related, or something else?
You are not alone!
The #1 concern for adults is changing cognitive abilities, and yet few people know what is reasonable to expect with age or what to look for that could mean something else is going on that should be addressed.
What should normal aging include:
- Establishing a baseline
- Noticing and addressing shifts in ability
Who Is Teepa Snow
As one of Americas leading educators on dementia, Teepa has developed a dementia care philosophy reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first hand caregiving experiences. She is a graduate of Duke University, and received her MS degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in geriatrics, she has worked as the OT Director in a head injury facility, a clinical specialist in geriatrics for a Veterans Administration Medical Center, and a Restorative Care Coordinator for a long term care facility. Her hands on caregiving experiences include providing direct care in home health, assisted living, long term care, and rehabilitation settings. Teepa also served as the Director of Education and Lead Trainer for the Eastern N.C. Chapter of the Alzheimers Association, and as a clinical associate professor at UNCs School of Medicine, Program on Aging.
Read Also: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Pivot: And Is This When The Idea For Pac First Came About
TS: Well, once that positive change started happening, I got more and more curious. Positive Physical Approach was one of the very first approaches I developed, then it became Positive Personal Connection and then Positive Action Starters. These systems were all a way of looking at what can people still do rather than what are they not able to do, and how do I support them? So, that really became my focus: whether its dementia, a head injury or something else, how do we help people feel like they have value when objectively, from the outside, they would be rated as less able? But if you still have some ability, its like, whoa, where do we get off on making that judgment call? So, its this whole idea of a relationship versus this arbitrary value we place on human beings.
Pivot: What Proactive Steps Can Senior Living Communities Take To Facilitate A More Personalized Approach To Dementia Care
TS: If theres not a locked door into the memory care unit all the time so people can transition back and forth throughout the day. I think engaging in multigenerational activities is huge. Creating dining and dietary programs that match dementia progression needs. Basically, its just being honest about the condition. Its for communities to find the ways these individuals can have value in the world and start to acknowledge its not all-or-nothing for people living with dementia its shades of gray, and then helping others appreciate that.
Communities also need to recognize the value of integrating opportunities for residents to engage, rather than just having an activities program with the three Bs: birthday parties, or parties of some sort bible study, or faith-based activities and bingo, or periodic organized fun. Its important to build programs that really recognize the need to be well-balanced. That is the sign of a good quality senior program.
Read Also: What Color Represents Alzheimer’s
What Is Your Relationship With Dementia
Positive Approach to Care is a woman-owned business.
PAC was built from the ground up by lots of hard work, family and team support, word of mouth, and an unwavering mission to share what is learned about care to better the world for all.
Join Teepas Positive Approach community and receive our free monthly Online Dementia Journal, plus dementia-related news and announcements about upcoming PAC events near you.
PO Box 430, Efland, NC 27243-0430 Phone: 877-877-1671 Email:
Positive Approach to Care®
Teepa Snows philosophy and education is reflective of her life-long journey professionally caring for and personally supporting people living with various forms of dementia. This person-centered approach evolved to meet the complex and unique needs of individuals using effective and structured technique. Teepa and her company strive to grow appreciation of differences that will lead to better care and support of those living with changing abilities.
Teepa Snow Devoted Her Life To Developing Tools For Caregivers So They Can Better Understand Dementia And Support Their Loved Ones Living With The Disease Her Wisdom Is Summarized In Her Forthcoming Book Understanding The Changing Brain: A Positive Approach To Dementia Care
Caregiving expert Teepa Snow knows from experience: There isnt a one-size-fits-all approach to guide caregivers of people with Alzheimers or related dementias. In her upcoming book, Understanding the Changing Brain: A Positive Approach to Dementia Care , Snow explains the cognitive changes that accompany dementia. And it isnt just for an intro neurology lesson: She demonstrates that how caregivers, family members and friends respond to these changes can set the tone for care, either causing distress or creating more pleasant and productive interactions.
In a LiveTalk with Being Patient in advance of her book, Snow offered three lessons that will help set caregivers on a positive track.
Read Also: Alzheimer’s Ribbon Color
Tips And Tricks To Improve Brain Health And Manage Alzheimer’s Disease
Some TikToks focus on boosting communication skills that also help caregivers manage their loved ones tasks. She encourages people to use warm tones, slower speech and visual aids to bolster discussions.
Tone of voice and rhythm of speech are things that people living with dementia keep and so how we say what we say and how we look when we say it , Snow explained.
Say a caregiver wants to encourage their loved one to drink something and go to the bathroom, Snow recommends that people say their family members name to get their attention before warmly asking if they want a drink. Using a visual aid also helps.
I show you a coffee mug and I point to it and say, Something to drink? she said.
She added that she might even pretend to drink from it.
I give the visual and then the verbal and theres a question mark on the end of it, she said. I pause. I want to wait for a three count to see if you say something.
If the person says “yes, people should follow up with the question hot or cold? to glean more information. Then gesture and ask them to join the caregiver in getting the drink. While the question is about offering a person a drink, Snow said that using this method allows a caregiver to encourage so much more from their loved one.
Learning From Teepa Snows Online Training
As a dementia care provider, learning how to better interact with, care for, and support people living with dementia serves you, your resident family member, and most importantly the person living with dementia. Give your employees a leg up by adding Teepa Snows online training to your dementia care training program. After completing online training, take your training program a step further by bringing Teepas organization to your community for in person training. Theyll thank you for it!
Recommended Reading: Does Andrea Mitchell Have Dementia