The University of Southern Indiana’s Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness has received a $75,000 grant from the Indiana State Department of Health to fund dementia care training for nursing home staff members in Southwest Indiana. The 18-month program will follow Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) training model, with a purpose is to improve the quality of life among elders with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Housed in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the USI Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness has been under the direction of Dr. Katie Ehlman, associate professor of Gerontology, since its inception in 2008. She said the upcoming PAC training will teach area caregivers how to “live in relationship with a changing brain.”
“Teepa’s training goes beyond the facts about dementia and focuses on skill building, coaching and training,” Ehlman said. “Her relational approach and hands-on skill techniques offer the interpersonal skills needed to improve quality of life for everyone involved.”
Snow, an occupational therapist from North Carolina, has been a presenter during the annual Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness at USI for the past three years.
“This pilot effort will be one of the first of its kind across the nation and will serve as a model for other university-to-community translations,” said Snow. “Using this grant provided by the state of Indiana, we will collaborate with teams from local facilities to transfer the awareness, knowledge and skill needed to transform the culture of dementia care. This program, along with all the other efforts in progress, has the potential to make Evansville and the surrounding areas one of America’s first dementia competent areas for support and care of those who live with the condition, their families and those who serve them.”
Snow’s unique model is a “train-the-trainer” program. In the 12-month period following the PAC training at USI, a PAC-certified “coach” and “trainer” from each participating nursing home will conduct a series of in-services for other staff members on a variety of topics related to dementia, including right and left brain, normal and not normal aging, positive approach, changing habits, challenging behaviors and caring for the caregiver.
Teepa Snow’s PAC program will include two full days of instruction at USI on August 18 and 19, workshop lesson plans and three hours of telephone support and training review from Snow’s staff after the training. Prior to the two-day onsite training, participants are also required to complete eight hours of online video education and testing. USI will also offer ongoing support and resources to help trainers and coaches work with staff in their respective nursing homes.
“Funding for this program trains 22 expert dementia trainers and coaches, two from 11 participating nursing homes” said Ehlman. “Through this train-the-trainer model, 360 nursing home staff members will go through the training series, potentially impacting 1,000 nursing home residents in southwest Indiana.”
For more information about the PAC training or other programs related to the needs of elders, contact her at 812-228-5123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia
Teepa Snow presenting at the Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness