Workshops for Family Members and Private Care Partners

Deconstructing Dementia

A Workshop Series for Care Partners

If you are a caring for someone living with dementia, these workshops are designed for you. Based on Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care, these one-hour sessions are designed to walk you through common brain changes, care approaches, and hands-on-skills that will help you.   I am currently working to develop a plan for offering these workshops to individuals and agencies in the community.  Please contact me if you are interested, and we can discuss a plan for the content that best suits your needs.

It's Not Just About Memory: Dementia changes the structure and chemistry of the brain. Take this beginner's brain tour to better understand the changes that are happening. 

Communication Changes: Explore the changes in language processing that occur with dementia and learn how to adjust your communication strategy for more success.

Sensory Changes and Dementia: Discover ways that dementia can change sensory processing, and how we can use what we know to facilitate positive experiences for those living with brain change.

Responding to Challenging Situations: Explore behavior as an expression of need and learn to adapt your care to the physical and emotional needs of the person you are helping.

Positive Physical Approach (TM) and Hand-Under-Hand (TM): Learn the basics of these essential components of effective care partnering with people living with dementia.

Teepa Snow's GEMS (R): Learn about this unique and respectful classification system that focuses on preserved abilities throughout the progression of dementia.

Workshops of up to 8 participants can be held at the Changing Minds Greenfield Location.  If you are hoping to train a larger group,  I can travel to the space of your choosing.


Questions? Please call Dr. Mullen at (413) 834-7012 or e-mail [email protected]

Positive Approach to Care 2-3 Hour Workshops


Dr. Mullen is a certified Consultant, Trainer, and Mentor for Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care (PAC). In addition to the workshops listed above, Dr. Mullen is certified by PAC to provide three instructional workshops that are designed by Teepa Snow herself to help care partners improve their understanding of people living with dementia as well as develop hands-on skills for interaction. The following workshops can be presented individually and range from 2-3 hours in length. If desired, the content can also be combined to create a full-day workshop for professional or private care partners. Dr. Mullen will work in conjunction with facilities to tailor content to specific training needs.

Workshop A–“Normal Aging/Not Normal Aging”

This workshop helps learners understand and recognize the differences in “normal” and “not normal”

aging. The workshop emphasizes the value of matching helping behaviors to the person’s needs and

retained abilities to promote a sense of control and self-direction, and addresses typical issues that occur

throughout the progression of dementia.

Workshop B–“Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA™) and Hand-under-Hand® (HuH®)”

This workshop focuses on Positive Approach to Care’s care partnering techniques, including Positive

Physical Approach(PPA) and Hand-under-Hand (HuH). These newly learned skills enable care partners

to shift from simply "dealing with the behaviors" to creating a positive and caring environment.

Workshop C-“Teepa’s GEMS®; Using Skills that Make a Difference”

The GEMS workshop offers an overview Teepa Snow’s dementia classification model (developed from

the basic structure of Allen Cognitive Disability Levels). The GEMS model compares different states of

being and ability to the characteristics of precious jewels. This dignified metaphor defines normal aging as

well as the many appearances, behavioral changes, skill sets and needs of those living with the effects of

neurocognitive failure (dementia) or other brain changes. They should be considered indicators and a

guide toward understanding an individual's current state of ability and brain function. Understanding

them will lead to an adjustment of expectations, modification of cues and support, and more accurate

communication and 'hands-on' care behaviors to better meet ever-changing needs. The GEMS

advocate that people living with dementia, when done with rather than done to and provided with the just right

care and setting, can still shine.