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The Kensington Sierra Madre: The First California Senior Living Community to be Designated in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care® (PAC)

The Kensington Sierra Madre recently became the first Positive Approach to Care® (PAC) Designated senior living community in California. Thanks to our Executive Director CC Degraff, Director of Memory Care Leandra Sims, and The Kensington Sierra Madre team’s hard work, we are able to make this dream a reality!

The Positive Approach to Care®, developed by Teepa Snow, is specific training for care teams and individuals on the chemical and physical changes in the brain, how that affects a person’s abilities, and what others might be able to observe.

The training is focused on recognizing an individual’s needs, and how caregivers can support those with brain changes in a more positive and respectful way with therapeutic approaches.

Read on to learn more about PAC, and how this designation further enhances The Kensington Sierra Madre’s memory care team and services.

What is the Positive Approach to Care®?

The Positive Approach to Care® aims to change the culture of dementia care and decrease the stigma around dementia with positive, educational training.

PAC is for every individual connected to those living with brain changes and dementia. The PAC team believes every caregiver and person living with dementia is doing their best, and that when they know better, they will do better.

Positive Approach to Care® training focuses on education on the physical and functional changes occurring in the brains of those with dementia.

PAC operates on the belief that when we understand how dementia affects people at these levels, we can more effectively provide care to these individuals.

What is a PAC designation?

A PAC Designated organization such as The Kensington Sierra Madre demonstrates the work, willingness, and dedication to change its culture of care using PAC skills.

The four levels of PAC Designation, listed by achievement level, are:

  • Competent
  • Skilled
  • Knowledgeable
  • Aware

Training is based on solid skills and relationships, according to Teepa Snow. Whether training is in-person or virtual, trainers use coaching and personal feedback.

The Kensington Sierra Madre is proud to be a PAC Designated community, and to use these practices within our memory care community.

What is a PAC certification?

PAC certifications allow individuals to train, consult, or coach caregivers, care staff, or members of the community on PAC practices.

Who is Teepa Snow?

Teepa Snow is an occupational therapist and dementia care and education specialist. She has worked in numerous hospitals, facilities, and rehabilitation centers in clinical, leadership, teaching, and research roles.

These experiences helped her form her current approach to care, which she began developing early in her practice career.

Teepa Snow’s positive approach fits The Kensington Sierra Madre’s strong belief in the power of education and community, and how supportive, positive dementia care can change the lives of these individuals and their family members.

Strategies and techniques of Teepa Snow’s dementia training

Teepa Snow’s care strategies and techniques include understanding the brain’s functions and changes, and responding to these changes with therapeutic approaches.

The approaches are meant to foster positive outcomes in the following ways:

  • Creating supportive environments that match the abilities of those with various forms of brain change
  • Encouraging alteration of in-task expectations
  • Encouraging connection, especially when verbal communication is altered

Teepa’s approach is also about sharing what is not okay when caring for someone who is living with a changing brain, including taking over, demanding compliance, or using habits that are no longer effective.

The Positive Approach to Care® is about advocating for those living with dementia, and helping families and professionals understand how it feels to live with the various forms of these conditions.

It’s also about helping these individuals live life fully, which is a goal that The Kensington Sierra Madre team strives for each and every day through our whole-person wellness objectives.

Three tips on caring for those with dementia

Teepa Snow says that when dementia enters a home, the whole family experiences brain change.

We support those living with brain change in numerous ways, even if the dementia isn’t in our own brains.

The Positive Approach to Care® seeks to support all those involved in dementia care, including those providing the care.

Here are three tips for care partners, inspired by Teepa’s dementia care training:

  1. Step back and breathe: Remember in times of frustration or struggle that the person you are caring for is doing their best. Step back and analyze the situation before moving forward.
  2. Respond, don’t react: Rather than repeating, arguing, or fixing a situation when something goes wrong, acknowledge what the person says and what they are feeling. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but of being a calming, soothing presence.
  3. Release control: You can’t control, fix, or change a person with dementia. Instead, you can control their environment and make it as helpful and soothing as possible. Continue learning, change what you can change, and let go of the rest.

The Kensington Sierra Madre provides memory care backed by the Positive Approach to Care®

The Kensington Sierra Madre already provided specialized memory care to our residents with dementia, but we now are fully incorporating the additional skills learned from our PAC training.

PAC helps our residents and their families see the person living with dementia, and not just the dementia. In this way, all parties are better equipped to understand what’s happening and respond in a more meaningful way.

The Kensington Sierra Madre Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We are committed to the partnerships and events that allow us to continue learning, educating, and supporting our residents and their families.

We offer two memory care neighborhoods at The Kensington: Connections and Haven. Each neighborhood is tailored to the accurate level of care required for that individual.

We also focus on whole-person wellness, meaning we incorporate a wide range of services that contribute to the health and wellbeing of our residents. 

These services include:

  • Nutritious gourmet dining
  • Full calendar of life enrichment activities
  • Rehabilitation and exercise services
  • Full spectrum of clinical support

To learn more about the levels of care and services we can provide for your loved one, or to hear more about the Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care, contact our loving team today.

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