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What is the Positive Approach to Care (PAC), and How Does It Differ From Traditional Perspectives on Dementia Care?

Laurie Walther, MS, CCC-SLP

January 1, 2024

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Question

What is the Positive Approach to Care (PAC), and how does it differ from traditional perspectives on dementia care?

 

Answer

The Positive Approach to Care offers a different understanding of dementia's pathologies, focusing on connecting and interacting with individuals with dementia by "doing with" rather than "doing to." It emphasizes sensitivity, compassion, understanding, and flexibility to enhance and preserve the dignity of the person with dementia. The mantra is that "Dementia doesn't rob someone of their dignity. It is our reaction to them that does."

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course Skilled Nursing Facility Interventions: An Introduction to Teepa Snow and Positive Approach to Care, by Laurie Walther.


laurie walther

Laurie Walther, MS, CCC-SLP

Laurie is an ASHA-certified, Texas-licensed Speech Language Pathologist with over 26 years of experience, primarily in the Skilled Nursing setting. She is the co-founder and principal of Empowering Care Partners, a company providing training and consulting to individuals living with dementia and their care partners who support them, including family members, dementia care professionals, and organizations. Laurie currently provides speech therapy services in Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and the acute care hospital setting and is part of the Residency team for a college, working alongside instructors and graduate students on applying their clinical skills and knowledge. Laurie recently co-created a program support series, "Eating Well with Dementia", collaborating with colleagues in Malaysia and Wales. This has progressed to working with the Ministry of Health in Malaysia.

 

Laurie is a Certified Independent Trainer with Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care, and she provides training and support to care partners and persons living with dementia. She has served as a mentor and leader to her partners, corporate members, staff clinicians, families and caregivers, and patients and residents. She has created many clinical, educational, and operational programs that have been carried out at the community level, corporate-wide, nationally, and internationally. Laurie has been a staff clinician, clinical leader, director of rehab, regional director, and senior vice president of rehab. She loves teaching, mentoring, and leading individuals to maximize their best to support those we serve. 


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