MY GOAL: TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THOSE WHO LIVE WITH DEMENTIA and THOSE WHO CARE FOR THEM.

When we think of dementia most people focus first on what’s lost. But inspired care partners can also focus on what’s left. By learning about brain change in dementia, we can find better ways to connect and communicate and make life better for everyone involved. Sharing practical knowledge, creative problem-solving, team work, and physical hands-on skills, I can help you achieve this.

Teaching hand skills — Los Alamos Senior Citizens Center, 2019

WHAT I OFFER

I am the only Certified Independent Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) Dementia Trainer and Consultant in New Mexico who can offer accredited experiential PAC workshops developed by dementia expert and advocate Teepa Snow. Here are recent workshops I’ve given: 

  • What is Normal Aging Versus Not-Normal Aging
  • So You Have the Diagnosis—Now What?
  • The Five Senses in Dementia
  • Unmet Needs in Dementia 
  • What’s Lost—and What’s Left?
  • De-Coding Distress
  • The Challenge of Transitions
  • Dementia Progression Patterns
  • Learning To Let Go

ABOUT ME

I was 26 when my mother began to change.  She said the neighbors had taken our dog.   She stopped visiting friends.  She kept the silverware in her purse. At night she talked about a man waiting in her garden.  I didn’t know what dementia was—I didn’t want to know—and despite the changes we both tried to ignore, deny, fix, or live with, when she finally died I was 18 years older and still knew next to nothing about dementia.

With my mother, 1996
Visiting My Mom, 1994

But what I’d witnessed had changed me.   Though I continued to pursue a writing career, after her death I also started becoming curious about dementia. Whenever I traveled I sought out people living with dementia. I signed up with hospice to visit patients diagnosed with dementia.  I spoke my opinions about dementia publicly and I wrote an award-winning novel based on it. I even referred to myself occasionally as a ‘dementia expert’. 

This was not true.  I had decades of stories to share, but every time I met someone who was stumbling down the same dark road I had once stumbled down with my mom, I had little to offer in the way of useful information, light, or hope. 

Then in 2018 I came upon a video. A very famous occupational therapist named Teepa Snow was demonstrating a set of physical skills that helps calm, guide, and comfort people who live with dementia.  I watched astonished. Here was something useful, literally physical hands-on skills I’d never tried before, never even heard of—the very skills I had so desperately needed and lacked thirty years ago when my mother had been alive.

Putting aside my writing/teaching career, I flew to Nevada and then Texas to train with the great Teepa Snow and her team of PAC mentors.   Today, as an Independent PAC Trainer and PAC Consultant myself, I have a business called Partnering In Care, which offers accredited education workshops to anyone who wants to learn how to improve the quality of care in the New Mexico dementia community.  

Training With Teepa Snow, Fort Worth, TX, 2019

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

I’ll be adding events throughout the year, but here’s a sampling of what I’ve offered:

JUNE 9, 2020:

A one-hour virtual workshop exploring not just what’s lost but what’s left in dementia using the Six Pieces of the Puzzle tool.

JANUARY 23, 2020:

A two-hour experiential workshop defining the difference between normal aging and not-normal aging and how to approach someone who’s living with dementia.

DECEMBER 23, 2019 :

A two-hour experiential workshop discussing language and vision changes and how to re-connect to people living with dementia through tone, touch, and rhythm.


TO CONTACT LAURA :

Until there’s a cure…

there’s care.

Teepa Snow

BOOKS BY LAURA

REMEMBER ME, a novel first published by Henry Holt in 1998 and in paperback by Picador and Piatkus in 2000, is based on the challenges of my mother’s dementia and my attempts to understand and accept them. REMEMBER ME was a Barnes & Nobel Discover New Writers pick and a critically acclaimed finalist for the Dublin Award and the Mountains and Plains Bookseller’s Award.

STYGO is a collection of interlocked stories about people trapped in a dying fictional company town in Colorado. Initially published by MacMurray and Beck in 1994, it was re-issued by Simon and Schuster in 1996, and by McAdams/Cage in 2000.

STYGO won the 1994 Colorado Book Award for best design, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award for First Fiction, the Mountains and Plains Regional Bookseller’s Award, and was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award.

 

PAC Certified Independent Trainers and Consultants are not employees of Positive Approach, LLC.  Opinions and views expressed by Laura Hendrie, LLC do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Positive Approach, LLC or its employees.  Positive Approach, LLC is not liable for any actions by PAC Certified Independent Trainers or Consultants.