A Positive & Proactive Approach to Supporting Older Adults Living with Brain Ability Changes: Enhancing Individual Practice in Dementia Care

Session Year: 
Rollin Wright, MD, MPH, MS Peg Chabala Teepa Snow, MS, OT Beth A. Nolan, PhD

Dementia care is challenging. The purpose of these sessions is to recognize that individuals living with dementia are seeking to meet needs, find value and meaning, and live life in the context of ever-changing abilities while living in demanding settings programmed for adults with intact capacities. Teepa Snow, a nationally recognized dementia care and education specialist, and her colleagues will demonstrate how to step away from the 'fix the person' bio-medical model which promotes medications and interventions to treat behavior problems in dementia. Session I of this full-day symposium will deconstruct and reframe the neurophysiologic basis of dementia-related behaviors as expressions that communicate unmet needs and cope with environmental demands. Detecting risk factors and addressing root causes of challenging behaviors will be emphasized. Partnered activities will promote the development of a connection and the rehearsal of skills needed to effectively communicate with persons living with dementia. Lastly, Session I will train the audience to use a person-centered strategy to classify different behavioral manifestations or personalities of dementia according to retained strengths and abilities as opposed to a less useful, disease-centered understanding of dementia that emphasizes degree of functional loss and severity of illness. By the end of this session, audience members will better appreciate and understand the perspective of the person living with dementia.

3.5 Management