How United Methodist Retirement Communities is Making a Difference for its Staff Caregivers.

In a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP (Caregiving in the U.S., 2015), NAC President Gail Gibson Hunt said, “There’s a double-edged sword when we fail to support caregivers, because we put both the caregiver and the care recipient at risk.” Yet, in a survey of over 1,200 caregivers, more than 84% said they needed more information and training on managing their own stress and managing their loved one’s challenging behaviors, particularly those who live with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) is helping make a difference for its staff caregivers as well as family and community caregivers in the region. Thanks to support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the UMRC Foundation, the Chelsea Community Foundation, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, UMRC is providing training in the Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC), developed by U.S. dementia care expert, Teepa Snow. This included a two-day training with Teepa Snow herself in Chelsea on May 15 and 16, attended by over 600 staff, family and community caregivers.

This summer and fall, UMRC is also hosting a series of workshops presented by PAC Certified Trainer and UMRC Dementia Care Specialist, Katie Garvey, OTRL, CAPS at the Dancey House Theater at Chelsea Retirement Community.

“These workshops provide an introductory education regarding how brain changes affect the person living with dementia and their perceptions, as well as how to make interactions more positive and how to best meet the needs of loved ones, while honoring their skills and abilities,” explains Katie. “People with dementia are trying their best. In order to manage their stress and ours, we need to change how we help them. The PAC organization uses proven, hands-on, experiential methods to empower care partners with knowledge and skills to enhance care and stay connected.”

Upcoming workshop topics include the following:

Making Interactions Positive: PAC has trademarked two methods for interaction with people with dementia which can help set a positive tone for visits and build rapport to provide support and care. Learn about the Hand Under Hand™ (HUH) and Positive Physical Approaches™ (PPA), the rationale behind each, and have a chance to try them out.

Capable and Brilliant: Help Me Succeed: PAC focuses on what remains strong in a person throughout the changes associated with dementia. Learn about the Gems™ progression patterns and how to match expectations with capacities, but more importantly, create joyous sharing opportunities.

Each workshop will be offered on three different dates and times per month. Please RSVP to Katie Garvey at 734.433.1000 ext. 6553 or Each workshop is limited to 40 attendees. We hope to see you there!

Click Here to view our flyer with additional details.