My Loved One Has Been Diagnosed with Parkinson’s… Now What?
With Bernice Detig, Parkinson’s Foundation
Wednesday, April 24th, 5:30pm-7pm. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
My Loved One Has Been Diagnosed with Parkinson’s… Now What?
With Bernice Detig, Parkinson’s Foundation
Wednesday, April 24th, 5:30pm-7pm. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
How Positive Approach to Care Methods Help Caregivers with Dementia Behavior

Build Connection: How Positive Approach to Care Methods Help Caregivers with Dementia Behavior

Caring for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s is a journey fraught with challenges and emotional strain at times. Caregiving is often intensified by unpredictable and sometimes problematic dementia behavior.

Caregivers have to deal with situations where the person they know may now exhibit behaviors uncharacteristic of their former selves, sometimes speaking or acting without a filter due to the progress of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

In these challenging situations, Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care (PAC) offers hope and practical and compassionate solutions for managing challenges posed by dementia behavior.

Read on to learn more about the practical applications of PAC methods and essential tools and insights to enhance the ability to care for your loved one with dementia.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

Understanding Positive Approach to Care (PAC)

Teepa Snow is a guiding force in the field of dementia and Alzheimer’s care, with a background in occupational therapy and over three decades of experience in clinical practice.

She developed The Positive Approach to Care in the early 2000s to change how caregivers interact with loved ones with dementia.

The Positive Approach to Care is more than a set of techniques but is a philosophy that redefines the caregiver’s role in dementia care.

  1. PAC emphasizes understanding the world from the perspective of the person with dementia. This approach acknowledges each person’s individual experience to “meet them where they’re at.”
  2. Another principle is focusing on what individuals with dementia can do, rather than what they can’t do.
  3. PAC is a person-centered approach that recognizes the person behind the disease, treating them with dignity and respect.

PAC methods for navigating dementia behavior

Common dementia behaviors may include repetitive questioning, agitation, or aggression, and require a thoughtful approach.

  • Behavior: If a loved one is repetitively questioning you, this might be frustrating for the caregiver. 
  • Solution: Teepa Snow’s approach suggests using calm, clear, and reassuring language. Responding with patience each time to dementia behavior, acknowledging their concerns, and gently redirecting the conversation can be helpful.

It’s also important to use nonverbal communication cues like maintaining eye contact, smiling, and using a gentle tone of voice.

  • Behavior: For more distressing dementia behaviors, such as agitation or aggression, the PAC advises against arguing or trying to reason with them. 
  • Solution: Caregivers should acknowledge their loved one’s feelings, offer comfort, and distract them with a more pleasant topic or activity. 

The PAC teaches caregivers that these problematic behaviors are often expressions of unmet needs or discomfort, and they need to be addressed with empathy and patience.

Practical tips for creating a supportive environment to handle dementia behaviors

Creating a supportive environment is necessary for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s to create a safe and familiar setting and reduce overwhelming stimulation.

Here are practical tips to create a supportive and engaging environment:

  • Consistent routine: Maintain a regular schedule to provide a sense of stability and predictability.
  • Safe environment: Remove hazards and use clear signage to enhance safety and independence.
  • Engaging activities: Introduce simple, enjoyable activities tailored to the individual’s interests and abilities.
  • Sensory stimulation: Use music, art, or aromatherapy to stimulate senses and evoke positive emotions.
  • Communication techniques: Adopt simple, clear language and non-verbal cues to enhance understanding.
  • Empathy and patience: Approach each interaction with empathy, patience, and a calm demeanor.
  • Family involvement: Encourage family participation in care and activities to maintain emotional connections.

Recognizing when it’s time to ask for help

Caregiving is immensely rewarding, knowing you’re making a positive impact on your loved one’s life and health. But it can also be physically and emotionally draining.

Be mindful to avoid caregiver burnout.

Signs of caregiver burnout can include:

  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Sense of detachment from caregiving duties 

These symptoms don’t mean you’re failing as a caregiver, they mean you’re human and that it’s time to seek more support.

How to avoid caregiving burnout

Reaching out to friends, family, and professional caregivers for assistance is a sign of strength, not weakness. 

Sharing the responsibility can provide much-needed respirate and a fresh perspective. 

Sometimes you just need a break to rejuvenate and return to your caregiving with renewed energy and compassion.

Solutions for caregiver burnout

In these situations, The Kensington Sierra Madre’s “Kensington Club” emerges as a new support solution.

As a leading memory care community, we understand the unique and unpredictable progression of memory loss.

The Kensington Club is an early-stage memory care program that’s designed to ‘catch’ symptoms early and take personalized steps to maintain cognitive abilities. 

Our adult day program The Kensington Club includes:

  • Activities, such as brain wellness exercises
  • Expressive arts
  • Music therapies
  • Body movement programs, such as yoga and tai chi
  • Small group settings to enhance social health

Considering a move to a memory care community

When caring for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, there may come a time when the level of care required surpasses what you can offer at home. 

Recognizing the signs that your loved one might need memory care is important for both of you.

Here are signs your loved one may need memory care support:

  • Increasing care needs that exceed what you can provide
  • Safety concerns, such as wandering or unsafe dementia behaviors
  • Health decline of the caregiver, if you are no longer physically or mentally able to provide care

The benefits of moving into a memory care community

When your loved one moves into a memory care community such as The Kensington Sierra Madre, they receive specialized care and healthcare options such as:

  • Specialized, personalized care for your loved one’s unique health needs
  • A secure environment to prevent wandering and enhance safety and navigation
  • PAC-trained team members who are trained in Positive Approach to Care methods
  • Structured memory care activities to maintain cognitive and physical abilities 

The Kensington Sierra Madre: A PAC-equipped community

The Kensington Sierra Madre is a premier assisted living and memory care community in Sierra Madre, California.

Our dedicated team members and care partners are thoroughly trained in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care (PAC) methods, ensuring compassionate and effective care for every one of our residents.

We offer a range of amenities and programs, including: 

  • The Kensington Club for early memory care
  • Two specialized memory care neighborhoods
    • Connections for early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Haven for more advanced stages that require higher levels of support and supervision

Stay informed about our community and the latest in senior and dementia health by following our events page.

We invite you to contact The Kensington Sierra Madre to learn more about our community or to schedule a tour.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.